After two days of Trial, the WCJ found the out-of-state Applicant did not meet his burden of proof on two key jurisdictional contentions: 1) That the Applicant’s sports agent had authority to bind the Applicant to a player contract; and 2) that the Applicant signed his player contracts while present in California. The WCJ relied on cross-examination by CCMPT that persuaded the WCJ that the Applicant’s memory, and lack of independent recollection, was unreliable. With no documentary evidence to support the contentions, the Applicant’s testimony was deemed unreliable. Therefore, there was no substantial evidence to support a finding of California jurisdiction.
Applicant was alleging California jurisdiction based on the use of a California-based sports agent. But, on the first day of Trial, for the first time, the Applicant alleged physically signing two contracts in California with the Philadelphia Eagles. During direct examination the Applicant alleged he skipped portions of pre-season activities, including a game, to fly to California from Pennsylvania to sign a contract. Immediately after the first day, CCMPT investigated this contention and found several pieces of evidence showing the Applicant did play in the pre-season game and was not in California. These documents were properly authenticated with an affidavit signed under penalty of perjury by the Eagles custodian of records. On the second day of Trial, CCMPT spent nearly two hours on cross-examination to lay the proper foundation of the applicant’s relationship with his sports agent, and to introduce impeachment evidence to contradict the testimony regarding California contract formation. Over Applicant’s objection, all of CCMPT’s evidence was admitted into the record. CCMPT was successful in getting Applicant to admit that his agent never accepted any player contracts on his behalf without getting the Applicant’s approval by using direct impeachment testimony from the Applicant’s deposition. Finally, CCMPT’s cross-examination, and use of the impeachment evidence, placed the Applicant’s testimony regarding contract formation into serious doubt. The case was submitted, and the WCJ issued his Opinion on Decision and Findings & Award three weeks later.
Based on CCMPT’s thorough and aggressive cross-examination, the WCJ was left with little choice but to find the Applicant’s testimony unreliable and hold there was no California jurisdiction over the Applicant’s cumulative trauma claim.
Findings and Order: Click here.
Opinion and Decision: Click here.