SBD/Closing Bell

Former NFLers Settle Suit Against Law Firms Over Earlier Case

Two law firms and a group of retired NFLers have settled a class action lawsuit that alleged the counsels had not provided sufficient legal representation in an earlier case. Manatt Phelps and McKool Smith agreed to settle the case with the retired players, who had in '08 won a case against the NFLPA for not properly representing them in licensing matters. The case was Adderley v NFLPA. But the retirees soon after sued the law firms, claiming the $26.25M ultimate award would have been higher had the firms arranged for an expert to testify on what the marketplace value of the retirees was.

Manatt resisted a settlement after McKool first agreed to one, but now both firms are in accordance. Manatt in a statement said, “Manatt and McKool remain proud of the $26.25 million recovery they obtained on behalf of the NFL players who were part of the class certified in the Adderley case. Both firms continue to reject the argument made in this case that they should have handled the Adderley case any differently.

“After discussions with plaintiffs’ counsel in this case, under the supervision of a federal magistrate judge, the parties have found a way to resolve their disputes in a manner that will avoid the further burdens, distractions and expense of litigation for all of the parties, yet make a contribution to the class of retired players who were not served well by their union.” Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
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