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NFLPA: Adderley lawsuit 'a complete miscarriage of justice'

November 11, 2008 | 12:30 pm

Herb Adderley

The NFL Players Assn. plans to appeal Monday's unanimous jury verdict in a civil lawsuit tried in federal Court in San Francisco. Jurors awarded retired NFL players $28.1 million in damages after determining that union leaders had been ignoring terms of contracts governing how players' images were marketed. The case dealt with how retirees are reimbursed when their images are utilized in video games, sports trading cards and other sports marketing deals.

In a statement released this morning, acting NFLPA Executive Director Richard Berthelsen said that "we believe that we have solid legal grounds to get this award overturned through post-trial motions and/or on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals."

Here is a bit more of what Berthelsen had to say:

Plaintiffs in the case wanted a whole lot more from the jury through their claim to a share of the active players’ group licensing money, but that claim was rejected.  We have learned over the years that court cases are more than a one-round fight, and we fully intend to win this on appeal.

The union also noted that "it is significant that the jury did not buy the retired players’ claim that they were entitled to an equal share of the active players’ group licensing money, which was the principal claim in the case.  If the retired players had prevailed on that claim, their claimed damages would have been close to $90 million as opposed to the $7.1 million awarded."

(The $7.1 million figure refers to actual damages; jurors also approved $21 million in punitive damages.)

The class-action suit that represents just over 2,000 retired players was brought by former Green Bay Packer cornerback Herb Adderley.

-- Greg Johnson

Photo: Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Herb Adderley is shown with a wax copy of his bronze Hall of Fame bust. Credit: Mel Evans / Associated Press