Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bryant v. Fox & Chicago Bears case brief

Bryant v. Fox & Chicago Bears case brief summary
515 N.E.2d 775 (1987)

Plaintiffs, two football players, appealed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County (Illinois), which dismissed their medical malpractice claims against defendants, a doctor and a football club, under the Workers' Compensation Act (Act), Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 48, para. 138.5 (1985).

Two players for the Chicago Bears brought a medical malpractice action against an orthopedic surgeon retained by the football club. They also brought an action against the club under the theory of respondeat superior. The doctor and the club motioned to dismiss and the motions were granted. The players argued that the motions should not have been granted because the club was not covered under the terms of the Act.

  • The court concluded that there was no evidence in the record that showed that the club was covered by the Act, therefore, the trial court erred in granting the motions to dismiss on that basis. 
  • The court reasoned that the club did not elect to be bound by the Act or was not engaged in certain enumerated businesses which are ultra-hazardous. 
  • The court held that the facts before the circuit court were insufficient to establish as a matter of law that the doctor was an employee rather than an independent contractor for the club. 
  • The court determined that the players were employees of the club.


The court reversed the judgment of the circuit court which dismissed the players' malpractice action and remanded for further proceedings.

Suggested Study Aid For Sports Law

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