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Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Former Pittsburgh Steeler Wins Workers’ Compensation Claim

Can I appeal the denial of my workers' compensation claim? 

If a worker is injured on the job, he or she is usually eligible for partial or full disability payments – depending upon the nature and extent of the injury. For former Pittsburgh Steelers center Chukky Okobi, his six years with the team caused so much damage to his back and neck that he has been unable to continue his career and will need lifelong medical interventions to withstand the pain of the damage. Okobi successfully pursued workers’ compensation benefits from the Pittsburgh Steelers Sports Inc. A Commonwealth Court judge upheld the Workers’ Compensation Board holding in favor of Okobi.

In 2009, Okobi filed his original claim for workers’ compensation from the team and was immediately met with resistance. After a denial of his first claim for benefits, Okobi appealed to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Board and was victorious. During that stage of the process, the Steelers missed several filing deadlines and failed to properly advance their arguments against Okobi in the administrative hearing. 

Nonetheless, the Steelers appealed the Board’s decision, citing it did not have an adequate opportunity to participate in the litigation. Again holding for Okobi, the court pointed out the team’s penchant for blowing its deadlines. The judge awarded almost $18,000 in attorneys’ fees to Mr. Okobi as well as costs in the amount of $5,516 and unspecified medical damages. From now on, Mr. Okobi will receive $779 per week from the Steelers to compensate him for his workplace injuries.

The Steelers can appeal the Commonwealth Court decision to Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The attorneys at Louis P. Lombardi II & Associates, P.C., have the experience and knowledge to successfully guide your workers' compensation claim. We serve the Philadelphia metropolitan area with convenient locations in the city of Philadelphia, Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery County and Chalfont, Bucks County. Contact us today at (610)239-7600 or (888)818-4343 to arrange a consultation.


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