NFL Retired Players’ Class Action Appeal Could Take Years to Resolve

Posted March 11th, 2009 by RetiredPlayers

Dan Kaplan of the SportsBusiness Journal reports that the appeal of the retired players $28.1 million dollar verdict against the NFLPA could take years to resolve.  The lawsuit stems from the NFLPA’s group licensing program for NFL retirees.  Ron Katz, the attorney who represented 2,062 former NFL players in the lawsuit, said a decision on the appeal would not be made until 2011 or 2012 due to the number of cases pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The NFLPA has said it will appeal the verdict all the way to the Supreme Court.  If that happens the appeal process could run into 2013.

If the verdict is upheld the NFLPA would be responsible for interest on the $28.1 million while the appeal is pending.  They could also be responsible for the additional attorneys’ fees incurred by the retired players during the appeal process.

The final outcome of the case may not be decided for years.  The next NFLPA Executive Director may prefer to settle the case and not deal with the negative publicity stemming from the mistreatment of former NFL players.  It seems the one candidate least likely to settle the retired players’ verdict is former player Trace Armstrong.  Armstrong testified for the defense in the case.

An article regarding Armstrong’s candidacy for the NFLPA Executive Director position appeared in SportsBusiness Journal on March 9, 2009.  At the end of each story readers are permitted to leave comments.  Retired players’ attorney Ron Katz left the following comment:

“As co-counsel for the retired players in their $28,100,000 jury verdict against the NFLPA last November, I hold the strong opinion that Mr. Armstrong’s testimony as an NFLPA witness was not credible to the jury and that his selection would deepen the artificial divide that Messrs. Upshaw, Allen, and Armstrong created between active and retired players. There should be absolutely no conflict between active and retired players because all active players will become retired players in a short time and many, unfortunately, will have to deal with a disability system that ignores serious injury and illness.”

The NFLPA solicited retired players to sign the group licensing agreements for over fourteen years.  Not a single former NFL player was ever paid under the retired players’ group licensing program.

7 Responses to “NFL Retired Players’ Class Action Appeal Could Take Years to Resolve”

  1. comment number 1 by: Issiac Holt

    I played in the NFL from 1985 til 1993 and
    I was never infromed of this lawsuit and I
    Would like to fined out why my name wasn’t
    Among the players that listed.If some one
    can help me out on this I will be grantful.

  2. comment number 2 by: gene lang

    I am also concerned that i was never contacted about this suit. There needs to be another to involve all players who have not been given their just due by the NFL or the NFLPA.

  3. comment number 3 by: Bernie Parrish

    For Isaac Holt and the Gene Lane, we have filed a new suit April 12, 2011 on behalf of of the NFL retired players who were not included in the first suit. My e-mail address is
    BPP [email protected] . Send me your e-mail address and phone number and unless you ask to be omitted from the suit, you are included. This suit is also against the NFLPA for the guys who were excluded from the first suit. Bernie Parrish

  4. comment number 4 by: bill bain

    I was not included, I do not know why? 949 492 3982

  5. comment number 5 by: Rick Fenney

    I also was not included in the first lawsuit and would like information regarding the new lawsuit. I played 1987-1992. Thank you.

  6. comment number 6 by: JT Smith

    I was never included, please include me . I played 79′ thur 91′..817 925-8265

  7. comment number 7 by: debrah white

    Issiac & Lang Send me # I have info!!