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Retirees Suing NFLPA Over CBA To File Appeal This Morning

Retirees suing the NFLPA over the '11 CBA plan to file an appeal to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals this morning of yesterday’s decision dismissing their case, the former players’ lawyer, Michael Hausfeld, said. The retirees in Eller vs. NFLPA allege the NFL was prepared to give them $900M more than the $620M extra they ended up with in the CBA because the active players interfered with their negotiations last year during the lockout. Minnesota U.S. District Court Judge Susan Nelson dismissed the case, contending the union had no fiduciary duty to the retirees, and thus there could have been no interference.

“The unfortunate fact for Plaintiffs is that they – having retired and thus no longer being able to offer or withhold their services to the League – simply lacked any negotiating leverage to obtain new and additional benefits beyond what they already had obtained while still active players,” wrote Nelson, who ruled to overturn the lockout 13 months ago, before two weeks later getting roundly overturned by the 8th Circuit. Hausfeld’s main point is the NFLPA was not a union at the time it struck a deal, and sidelined the retirees, a point Nelson does not dispute. As a result, he contends the NFLPA had no authority to step in and negotiate the retiree benefits with the NFL.
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