Contract Cases

Allen vs. Milwaukee Bucks (2013), Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. Lexis 138

WCAB found jurisdiction for industrial injuries between 1995 and 1999 and returned matter to trial level for further development of record regarding whether applicant was hired in California for purposes of conferring jurisdiction pursuant to Labor Code Section 3600.5 (a) and 5305. The WCAB found that while applicant’s agent negotiated the contract with defendants in California and there was some evidence that applicant authorized his agent to form a contract, it was unclear from the existing record whether the agent actually accepted contract before applicant signed written contract in Milwaukee and that in order to find jurisdiction there must be substantial evidence that employment was actually accepted in California, not merely discussed or negotiated.

 

Jenkins vs. Arizona Cardinals (2012), Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. Lexis 189

WCAB affirmed its prior decision in the same case determining that under Labor Code Section 3600.5(a) and 5305 the WCAB did not have jurisdiction over applicant’s claim against the Arizona Rattlers for injuries to multiple body parts while playing professional football, notwithstanding that applicant’s agent negotiated and signed the contract for hire in California. The WCAB found that applicant had the ability to decline the contract negotiated by his agent if he did not want the job, that applicant’s signature on contract was not a mere condition subsequent that did not prevent formation of contract, and that when an employee has a right to entirely reject a written contract and does not unequivocally accept contract until signing it outside of California, then contract of hire is not made in California.

 

Johnson vs San Diego Chargers (2012), Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. Lexis 354
(WCAB panel decision finding no California subject matter jurisdiction)

WCAB held there was no jurisdiction under Labor Code Section 3600.5(a) and 5305 over professional football player’s claim against three different NFL teams for cumulative trauma when the WCAB found: 1. Applicant was not located in California at the time applicant’s contract for hire was accepted, 2. Only connection between applicant’s contract and state of California was location of applicants agent, 3. Agent’s signature on contract before applicant signed contract in Kansas City was not determinative of contract’s acceptance, as contract for hire expressly stated that the agent did not have authority to bind applicant and that applicant was only one authorized to accept contract and 4. WCAB found the contract was not accepted by applicant’s agent in California but rather by applicant outside of the state, thereby depriving the WCAB of jurisdiction.

 

Johnson vs. WCAB (1988), 53 Cal. Comp. Cases 495 (Writ denied).

The Appeals Board did not have jurisdiction over injuries sustained by California resident off coast of Oregon where applicant was neither hired in California, nor regularly employed in California.

 

Douglas vs. New York Giants (2012), Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. Lexis 510
(2012)(WCAB panel decision)

WCAB found there was jurisdiction over professional football ballplayer’s claim against NFL Europe during period June 13, 2000 to June 30, 2001 when offer of employment occurred by phone at applicant’s home in California and he accepted essential terms of employment by phone prior to traveling to Florida. The WCAB found that the offer and acceptance by phone constituted a contract for hire made in California for purposes of jurisdiction over applicant’s out-of-state injuries pursuant to Labor Code Section 3600.5(a) and 5305. The fact that applicant signed the actual contract in Florida, had to complete a physical examination outside of California, had to compete in training camp for a position were not dispositive of whether he entered into an agreement with NFL Europe over the phone in California. Also, the fact that the contract could be terminated by applicant or by NFL Europe did not negate existence of the contract.