|By the thousands, professional athletes from around the country are seeking medical care or money through California's workers' compensation system for brain trauma and other injuries suffered on the playing field.
Former athletes have filed more than 4,400 claims involving head and brain injuries since 2006 — seven times more than in the previous 15 years, according to a Times analysis of state records. Nearly three-quarters of all new claims made in California now include alleged brain injuries.
Most of these claims come from former pro football players, brought by superstars such as Joe Theismann, Tony Dorsett and Earl Campbell, as well as unheralded practice squad players.
Now the NFL and five other professional sports leagues are close to limiting their liability drastically for such workers' comp claims. They have lobbied for state legislation that would bar athletes who played for out-of-state teams from filing in California.
The state Senate is expected to...
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