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Who's liable for injuries to a company athletic team?

This story appears in the May 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sponsoring employee athletic teams builds camaraderie, name recognition and company pride. It can also lead to injuries, workers' compensation claims and even lawsuits over liability.

Consider a Missouri case decided last November. A St. Louis restaurant chain sponsored a series of athletic competitions among the chain's locations. During a basketball game, one employee banged his knee against a wall and needed surgery. His workers' compensation claim was initially denied, but the Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission eventually ruled in favor of the employee.

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