On Tuesday, the Virginia Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that a hockey player injured in a fight during a game was entitled to workers' compensation, on the grounds that "fighting is an integral part of the game of hockey." The team had argued that the fight was "willful misconduct" that would have precluded compensation for the injury.
Ty Jones was officially a power forward for the minor-league Norfolk Admirals, but the court found that he was acting in the course of his employment as an "enforcer" for the team. Jones claimed that the fight in which he injured his shoulder started after his coach told him to "go get" an opposing player. The injury required seven months of rehabilitation, and the court battle has been over who has to pay for that.
L. Steven Emmert, described by the Associated Press as "a leading Virginia appellate attorney and hockey fan with no connection to the case," said that the finding was obviously correct. "This court finds that fighting is an integral part of hockey," Emmert said. "Thirty million Canadians could have told you that."