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  • WALL STREET JOURNAL EXAMINES INJURY LAWSUITS

         In his contract, Knicks rookie Monty Williams, who has a
    history of an irregular heart beat, "has agreed that both he and
    his estate waive any right to sue the Knicks should he suffer a
    cardiological episode on the courts."  This is just one of the
    "many precautions which teams and doctors are going through to
    limit their liability as pressure mounts to keep athletes in the
    game," according to a report in this morning's WALL STREET
    JOURNAL.  Lawsuits against pro teams were rare until recently,
    but a case involving former 49er Charlie Krueger, who won a
    malpractice suit against the team and its physician for more than
    $2.3M in '88, sent "shock waves" through pro sports.  Clark
    Leslie, who represented Krueger, said that since then many teams
    have "cleaned up their acts."  Players now demand injury
    protection clauses and disability coverage in their contracts,
    and teams use modern medical advances to properly screen athletes
    before signing them.  But incentive clauses in contracts link
    compensation to performance, giving "benched athletes an
    incentive to sue those who keep them out of play."  Dr. S.
    Michael Lawhon, whose medical group services the Bengals:  "If I
    do something that the $5-million a year player claims inhibited
    his ability to complete a contractual agreement ... I don't have
    the malpractice insurance to cover that" (Milo Geyelin, WALL
    STREET JOURNAL, 12/7).
    

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