NFL, Group Of Retirees Reach Preliminary Settlement In NFL Films Case
The NFL and a group of retirees suing the league over their use in NFL Films footage have reached a preliminary settlement, the federal judge overseeing settlement talks wrote today in a new order. The case was originally filed in August '09. “Plaintiffs’ lead settlement counsel and counsel for the [NFL] have now advised the court that they have reached an agreement in principle on the key terms of a settlement, subject to the completion of written settlement documents to be submitted for the court’s approval,” magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan wrote in an order today that instructed the sides to take the steps necessary to complete the settlement. The retirees alleged their use by NFL Films was without their permission, while the league countered it was covered by the labor deals that they signed when they were players. A previous settlement discussed was for about $50M, but was scuttled by infighting among the retirees’ attorneys. That led the court in December to appoint only one settlement negotiator, Daniel Gustafson. This is the second time Boylan has reached a settlement for the NFL, having performed the task in '11 in helping bring an end to the NFL lockout.