When Broncos legend Floyd Little was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year, his relationship with his past team seemed blissful. But now, a lawsuit on view below reveals that Little and a slew of other past Broncos, including notables like Louie Wright and Randy Gradishar, have made workman's compensation claims against the team for amounts over $100,000.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Colorado by St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance, targets PDB Sports, Ltd., which does business under the Broncos name, as well as past players Little, Wright, Gradishar, Edwin Smith, John Rowser, Godwin Turk, Mike Schnitker, William Van Heusen and Barney Chavous.
St. Paul handled insurance for Rocky Mountain Empire Sports, which assigned all its interests to PDB in approximately 1981, according to the suit. However, St. Paul insists that the policies only pertained to employees in New Mexico and didn't include football players like the aforementioned nine, all of whom are said to have "made claims against the Denver Broncos for workers' compensation benefits in excess of $100,000" in the State of California.
The firm wants the District Court to rule that "St. Paul has no obligation under the Policies to pay benefits for, or to defend or indemnify PDB from or against, any workers compensation claims resulting or arising from injuries alleged to have been sustained in California, including specifically the California Claims."
The workman's compensation filings should come as no surprise to anyone who's watched NFL salaries escalate over the years. Even marginal players make big bucks today for as long as they can cling to a roster -- which averaged just three-and-a-half years circa 2007. But even first-rate ballers like Little, Wright and Gradishar weren't sitting on a king's ransom after retiring, and as the years pass, the injuries they sustained during their playing days become more serious -- and more expensive to treat.
Read the lawsuit below:
More from our Sports archive: "Denver Broncos Memory Series photo gallery: See the team's greats (before 1985)."
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