NFL Players Union Reaches $26.25M Settlement with Retirees over Madden… Is EA Lawsuit Next?

Old school NFL players, angered by their uncompensated depiction in EA’s best-selling Madden series, have won a huge victory against their former union in the case.

The Associated Press reports that National Football League Players Association has settled the lawsuit filed by NFL retirees for a whopping $26.25 million. GamePolitics readers will recall that in November, 2008 a federal court jury awarded the players $28.1 million, with 3/4 of that figure representing punitive damages. Jurors were clearly appalled by e-mails which showed that NFLPA officials conspired with EA to obscure the identities of retired players depicted on Madden’s classic teams.

The NFLPA promptly appealed the verdict, but has now settled for an amount equal to 93% of the jury award. In other words, the NFLPA has capitulated. Attorney Ron Katz, who represents the retired players, praised new NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith and called the settlement "a real step to a reconciliation" with the union.

A formal announcement of the deal will come this morning in Washington, D.C. Former Packers and Cowboys DB Herb Adderley, a named plaintiff in the class action suit, is scheduled to speak, according to ESPN.

With the NFLPA suit resolved, the question now looming is whether the retired players will pursue legal action against EA for use of their unlicensed images in Madden. Although a key entity in the NFLPA suit, EA was not a named defendant. However, militant NFL retiree Bernie Parrish said in April that the retro players were looking into suing both EA and John Madden once the NFLPA case was over. Toward that end Parrish urged the establishment of a legal war chest. We note that former NFL player Dave Pear wrote on his blog yesterday:

We all need to put $1,000 into a war chest so we can continue our battle for justice and vindication! Bernie, please let me know where to send the money once we receive a check.

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  1. 0
    MrKlorox says:

    All I really want is the NFL and other exclusive licenses to be freed up for other bids. This will have the biggest impact on game quality.

  2. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    You mean the ‘pay day’ they were screwed out of by pretending they weren’t the players in those games? Yeah, I truly hope they won’t ever need that again.

    Seriously, they got used without permission and without benefits. What did you expect, them to roll up and take it in the ass? Image-use is big business in those sports, and for retired players that’s quite useful while you’re trying to re-integrate into society at an age many others are merely midway.

  3. 0
    ZenAndNow says:

    Got it right there. Nobody likes a sue-happy whiny biatch, no matter how justified their cause. Because who knows? If they sued them, and sued others, they might sue you too for some half-assed reason as well! And they’d probably win, because the system sucks horribly.

  4. 0
    Roh02 says:

    after this no one is going to want to use them in anything ever again with their permision or not they better hope they never need another pay day.

  5. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    Neither do I, but nothing brings people together like a common enemy. When I see a jock bullying a geek, I side with the geek.

    These people redefine the word "Greed."

    Weird Al could have used something like this in his song, "I’ll Sue Ya."

  6. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    Can I just say 4 things here about this lawsuit, Loony Retired NFL Players that want to be a Troll about it

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

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