Here is a quick update to a class-action-related story that you may have been following over the past few months. (See CABWR entries dated September 9 and October 15). According to an AP article published in the San Fransisco Chronicle and various other sources, a federal jury in San Fransisco has rendered a verdict in favor of a class of retired NFL players in their suit against the NFL Players’ Association for a share of licensing revenue. The verdict was reportedly for $7.1 million in compensatory damages, plus $21 million in punitive damages.
The verdict brings an end to the trial, a fairly rare proceeding in a class action. Most class actions end with a settlement, dismissal, or denial of class certification before they get to an actual jury trial. The NFLPA’s attorney says that it plans to ask the judge for post-trial relief and that it will appeal the verdict if necessary, so any of these outcomes are still possible, but for now, the class has prevailed. The news stories published so far have not commented on how the verdict is to be divided up among the more than 2000 class members, but unless the verdict is overturned on appeal or a settlement is reached, the court will have to come up with some method of allocation and a plan for distribution.
For more news on the verdict, see these links: