SACRAMENTO, CA -- A report finds California's workers' compensation system has awarded millions of dollars in benefits for job-related injuries to thousands of professional athletes, including many who played for out-of-state teams.
The Los Angeles Times reports sports leagues and their insurers are working to stop the practice, which has paid an estimated $747 million to about 4,500 players since the early 1980s.
Among them, NBA star Moses Malone was awarded $155,000 and Dallas Cowboys great Michael Irvin received $249,000.
The athletes are taking advantage of a provision in state law that provides payments for the cumulative effect of injuries over years of playing.
The newspaper reports some of the athletes played as little as one game in California.
The benefits usually come as lump-sum payments but sometimes provide lifetime medical services.