Monday, February 25, 2013

NY Appeals Court Overturns Denied Runge Injury Claim

A NY appeals court ruled in favor of former NL umpire Paul Runge, reinstating a worker's compensation claim filed by Runge following an injury sustained in 1997. A previous judgment had denied Runge's claim.

Former NL Umpire Paul Runge
Runge allegedly injured both knees during an annual spring training physical in March of 1997 and received paid treatment thanks to the National League's insurance program. Because Runge reportedly did not miss any assignments and therefore allegedly did not suffer any lost wages prior to his retirement from the playing field in July 1997 and subsequent acceptance of the NL Director of Umpires position thereafter, the compensation case was quickly closed in or around 1998. Runge's final game was July 22, 1997 (HOU-STL).

When MLB reorganized its umpiring staff following the 1999 season, Runge's position was eliminated and he was fired along with Jim Quick, Harry Wendelstedt (NL) and Don Denkinger (AL).

Though the league and/or its insurance program continued funding Runge's treatment until 2002, because the compensation case had been closed, Runge allegedly did not receive further wages or compensation related to the injury reportedly sustained in 1997.

In 2004, when Runge's injury had deteriorated to a point where his left knee required a complete replacement surgery, the league office declined, citing the workers' comp case and corresponding compensation window had already been closed. Furthermore, Runge was no longer an umpire nor employee.

After a Worker's Compensation Board agreed with Major League Baseball and formally dismissed Runge's claim, the former umpire appealed, resulting in the present decision by the Appellate Division of New York State Supreme Court to overturn the Board's ruling and reinstate Runge's worker's comp claim.

Paul Edward Runge is the father of current MLB umpire Brian Runge and son of former umpire Ed Runge. Paul began his NL career in 1973, working three All-Star Games, nine League Championship Series and four World Series over the course of his 25-year on-field career.

News: Call goes ex-MLB ump's way (Timesunion)


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