ELLIS HOBBS vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS; PHILADELPHIA EAGLES; GREAT DIVINE INSURANCE COMPANY C/o BERKLEY SPECIALTY UNDERWRITING MANAGERS

This case involves Ellis Hobbs, a professional athlete, who claims to have sustained an industrial injury to multiple body parts while employed from July 30, 2005, through November 24, 2010. He filed an Application for Adjudication of Claim on February 14, 2011, choosing venue at the Anaheim district office, as the principal place of business of his attorney. The defendant, Great Divide Insurance Company (GDIC), carrier for New England Patriots LP, filed a timely, verified Petition for Removal, requesting that the Appeals Board amend the Findings & Order dated January 31, 2012, to grant GDIC's Petition for Change of Venue and transfer venue to the San Francisco district office. The Appeals Board granted the Petition for Removal and changed the venue

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS; PHILADELPHIA EAGLES; GREAT DIVINE INSURANCE COMPANY c/o BERKLEY SPECIALTY UNDERWRITING MANAGERS ELLIS HOBBS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION APPEALS BOARDSTATE OF CALIFORNIAELLIS HOBBS, Applicant,vs.NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS; PHILADELPHIA EAGLES; GREAT DIVINE INSURANCECOMPANY c/o BERKLEY SPECIALTY UNDERWRITING MANAGERS, Defendants.Case No. ADJ7669691(Anaheim District Office)OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PETITION FOR REMOVAL AND DECISIONAFTER REMOVAL            Defendant, Great Divide Insurance Company (GDIC), carrier for New England Patriots LP, has filed a timely, verified Petition for Removal, requesting that the Appeals Board amend the Findings & Order dated January 31, 2012, to grant GDIC’s Petition for Change of Venue and transfer venue to the San Francisco district office. GDIC contends that venue is proper at the San Francisco district office pursuant to Labor Code section 5501.5(a)(2) and (c). Applicant has filed an Answer. Defendant GDIC as carrier for Philadelphia Eagles has filed an Answer. We have also received a brief from amicus curiae National Basketball Association, which we accept.            Applicant, while employed as a professional athlete from July 30, 2005, through November 24, 2010, claims to have sustained an industrial injury to multiple body parts. He filed an Application for Adjudication of Claim on February 14, 2011. In that document, he chose venue at the Anaheim district office, as the principal place of business of his attorney. On February 16, 2011, GDIC filed an Objection to Venue Selection.            Labor Code section 5501.5(a)(3)1 provides that an Application can be filed “in the county where the employee’s attorney maintains his or her principal place of business, if the employee is represented 1 Unless otherwise specified, all statutory references are to the Labor Code. ,             Section 5501.5(c) provides: “if the venue site where the application is to be filed is the county where the employee’s attorney maintains his

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