Retired NFL player and practicing attorney Shawn Stuckey from Zelle Hoffman gave a brief overview of the current litigation against the NCAA as well as a history and update on the Eller vs NFLPA lawsuit. The NCAA suits are both interesting and important to follow as they have relevance to many of the current ongoing concussion and rights lawsuits that retired NFL players are pursuing with the NFL.(You can read all biographies by clicking HERE.) . YouTube Hints: You can enlarge the video to Full Screen mode simply by clicking on that Full Screen icon in the lower right hand corner of the video. You can also watch videos in HD (if available) by clicking that gear icon in the lower right and then selecting the highest resolution available. And each YouTube video can actually be paused or stopped at any point and you can also jump to any spot where you may have left earlier so there’s no need to watch through an entire video. .
Retired player and attorney Bob Stein first initiated the lawsuits against the NFL and NFL Films for not acknowledging and paying retired football players from the re-sale of their recorded footage of old football games. Unfortunately Bob couldn’t make the Conference, so attorney and retired NFL football player, Shawn Stuckey (with the firm Zelle Hoffman), discussed the details of retired players’ licensing rights to the NFL and the ongoing NFL Films class action lawsuit. As presented at our Second Annual Independent Football Veterans Conference at the South Point Resort in Las Vegas April 20 – 22, 2012. . All of our footage was recorded in High Definition (Thanks to Jennifer Thibeaux!) and you can enjoy each broadcast at it best by selecting HD quality by clicking on the setup icon (that Gear button) in the lower right of the video screen and then clicking on the Full Screen View button in the bottom right corner of each video. .
For a normally quiet time in the off-season, there’s a lot going on. Concussion lawsuits continue to be filed and the latest count indicates there may be over 3,000 retired football players who have filed suits against the NFL to date. We also understand that there may be a possible Statute of Limitation deadline coming up shortly and strongly urge that you get signed up with one of the firms soon if you haven’t done so already. . Let’s start with a Washington Post article on the concussion lawsuits that featured Dr. Daniel Amen: .
NFL concussions lawsuits aim to improve the damaged brain
To all retired players: . On Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. your case will be argued against the NFLPA in front of Judge Susan Nelson in St. Paul, Minnesota. The NFLPA filed a Motion to Dismiss and this hearing will be to determine if your case is dismissed. . If you will recall, in September and October of 2011, 47 former NFL players, including 27 Hall of Famers (26 of whom who are listed in the NFL’s official encyclopedia as 300 of the greatest players in NFL history), representing every decade in pro football since the 1940′s, filed a class action lawsuit against the NFLPA. The class representatives represent virtually every position in football, and every category of NFL player – including vested, non-vested, Hall of Famers, forgotten players, and legends of the game. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all former NFL players and seeks to increase the retirement benefits of all players – vested and non-vested . The NFLPA is asking that your case be dismissed against them. We will argue that your case deserves to be heard by a jury. . It would be great if the Judge could see a courtroom of retired players who are all in support of having your case get heard by a jury. So if you are available to make it to Minnesota to attend the hearing, I ask that you mark it on your schedule and come show your support for your case. It is particularly important that you attend if you live locally. . The address is below. Please let me know if you plan to attend. Thanks. . Best regards, Shawn D. Stuckey, Esq. (former NFL player – New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. Courtroom 7B United States District Court 774 Federal Building 316 North Robert Street St. Paul, MN 55106 . (Eller/Bednarik et. al, v. NFLPA and Gault/McElhenney et. al, v. NFLPA) Case No. 11-CV-2623 SRN/JJG (D. Minn.) .
We now have a publicly available copy of the Settlement Agreement details and the subsequent Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) made when the CBA was ratified. The individual active players (Brady et al) agreed to drop their suits that were filed against the NFL when the Union decertified during the lockout. We’re posting this for weekend reading and look forward to your comments and observations. Note that it was Jeffrey Kessler who filed this without any seal. . We’ve uploaded the entire 201-page document to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the center of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (and just hit the ESC key to close): . Brady Settlement for 2011 NFL/NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement .
Here’s a yearend update from Hausfeld LLP and Zelle Hofmann including articles from disability attorney John Hogan and George Visger. . We’ve uploaded their newsletter to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the center of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (and just hit the ESC key to close): . The Voice – NFL Retiree Newsletter, Vol 1, Issue 2 .
You would think that the NFLPA would have learned by now that any time they let attorney Jeffrey Kessler into a lawsuit, they may as well count on things taking longer and costing more. In case there are still some of you out there who aren’t familiar with Kessler, he represented the NFLPA in the Player’s Inc. lawsuit when retired players sued the union and their “Licensing Arm” for past video game royalties that the Union had intentionally defrauded from its players for years. Kessler and his firm were paid handsomely for losing the case that awarded $28 million+ in royalties and damages awarded to the players. And his brilliant answer to losing the case before then-newly-appointed Executive Director DeMaurice Smith (and white collar crime attorney) decided to settle the case? Appeal. .
So then Kessler gets into the middle of the NBA lockout to “represent” the players and that drags into basketball season. Here’s a recent article from ProFootball Talk that pretty much sums up what everyone thinks of Kessler: Click HERE. .
The question we have to ask is: What have they got to hide? Or more to the point: What does Kessler personally have to hide? In any problem, you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem. We think Kessler and his group ARE the problem. .
So last week on Dec. 2nd after much posturing from both sides, Judge Susan Nelson allowed a Motion to seal all further filings and proceedings in the current class action suits filed against the NFLPA, Tom Brady, Mike Vrabel and DeMaurice Smith. . We’ve uploaded Judge Nelson’s order along with the pleadings from both sides to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing.) Shawn Stuckey’s detailed arguments and the attached Exhibits make for some good reading. Great job, Shawn!) You can also click the Enlarge icon in the center of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (and just hit the ESC key to close): .continue reading »
Both the NFLPA and George Martin’s NFL Alumni have been trying to take credit for everything being offered to retired players from the new CBA. In the meanwhile, they’ve also done their best to ignore what retired players have actually been demanding long before this current CBA while never really putting their cards on the table about what it is that they’ve actually decided for retirees – without their direct input. The Union simply refused to be in the same room while discussions were being held directly with Commissioner Goodell and now they continue to play a let’s-wait-and-see attitude by blaming the League for holding up the final agreement. And they continue to take credit for the wonderful things they’ve done for retirees all while they weren’t a Union (during de-certification!). . Meanwhile, back at the Alumni ranch, George Martin’s $250,000+ annual salary and bonuses are apparently not enough so he also had to do some endorsement work. George has been driving around in a brand-new $65,000+ Cadillac Platinum Edition Escalade ESV for the last week or so since the Alumni Golf Tournament tweeting all about his praises for his loaner wheels much to the delight of Government Motors. (Read the official NFL Alumni Press Release by clickingHERE.) FOX Sports’ Alex Marvez had a few more words to say about that ride: .continue reading »
The NFLPA just announced their 2012 convention to be held once again at the Marco Island Marriott in Florida next March. Retired players are also invited to actually mingle with active players for $250 a night! Lots of golf, fine dining and everything else… except talking about the real issues that retired players actually need to have addressed. . So with all the lawyers that work over at the NFLPA, it seems that the only thing that gets their attention is another good lawsuit. Today, the attorneys in the earlier Eller suit – Hausfeld LLP, Zelle Hofmann, Arthur N. Bailey & Associates, Coburn & Greenbaum – filed another class action suit on behalf of retired players against the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, Tom Brady and Mike Vrabel. The new suit includes a new list of players – Dave is included as one of the named plaintiffs – along with an additional list of key issues that the PA will need to address. . We’ve uploaded a copy of the new 44-page Lawsuit to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the center of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (and just hit the ESC key to close): . Gault McElhenney Brown Et Al v NFLPA . .
As many of you know by now, Fred Dryer is one of the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the NFL and NFL Films. Many of the retired players have been wanting to know more details on how that lawsuit has been progressing. So earlier today, we had a conversation with Fred and a few of the other players involved in that litigation to hear more of what has been happening so far. . “The plaintiffs in Dryer vs NFL fired Bucky Zimmerman and Zimmerman Reed for cause. . “We felt that he lied to us and we had lost our trust with him and his firm. . “We were fortunate to have retained Bob Stein and Tom Ward and it allowed them to bring Michael Hausfeld and Zelle Hoffman Voelbel & Mason on board in a timely and professional fashion.” . . . continue reading »
In case some of you missed it last year, there was a lawsuit filed on behalf of all retired football players to recover royalties from the NFL and NFL Films for re-packaging and distributing footage of games from years past. The suit was initiated by attorney and former player Bob Stein (1969 – 1975 Kansas City Chiefs, LA Rams, Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers) and filed in August 2009 and it was originally led by plaintiffs Fred Dryer, Jim Marshall, Elvin Bethea, Joe Senser, Dan Pastorini and Ed White. .
Since then, the case has gone through some changes that we’ve learned about through the many public filings available in the court system. We’ve noticed that Zimmerman & Reed is no longer representing this class (all of the plantiffs have apparently fired them) and we have also learned that Hausfeld LLP and Zelle Hoffman (both firms from the ongoing Eller Class action) have now added their weight and resources to keep moving this lawsuit forward with Bob Stein. . continue reading »
Over the weekend, the retired players and the attorneys involved with the Eller et al vs. NFL et al class action lawsuit released a letter addressed to all retirees to outline a call for unity as well as to provide an update on the facts and actions to date. .
Dear fellow retired players, .
We have been asked by many of our fellow retired National Football League (“NFL”) players to provide more information about what the Eller v. NFL lawsuit is meant to accomplish and how the lawsuit will help benefit all retired NFL players. What follows is our attempt to do so. .
On March 28, 2011 the national law firms of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP and Hausfeld, LLP, filed a class action on behalf of all retired NFL players against the NFL in federal court in the District of Minnesota to bring about wholesale improvements of the NFL player retirement system. .
This lawsuit came after the CBA negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA broke down, the Union decertified and the League subsequently locked the players out. The complaint seeks to do for retired players what the Reggie White class action lawsuit did for current players in the early 1990’s: create an organization and system whereby retired NFL players are able to advocate on their own behalf and therefore vastly improve the current landscape of the NFL retirement system. This class action – known as Eller et al., v. NFL – was consolidated with the class action on behalf of current players called Brady, et al vs. NFL. (Consolidated simply means that the cases are heard together and the NFL is better positioned to try and resolve both cases simultaneously – although the retired players are asking for and addressing different issues than the current players.) .
Recently, the largest collective group of representatives of various organizations for retired players or who have mass online audience met in Minneapolis. The group included representatives and/or members from the NFLPA, NFL Alumni, the Retired Players Association, Fourth & Goal, Gridiron Greats, Dignity after Football and DavePear.com/Independent Football Veterans. Most of the participants agreed to present the League with united proposals for changes in key areas affecting the well-being of retired players:
On April 4th, representatives of the National Football League acknowledged the need to provide “important improvements in retired player benefits.” They stated it was the “fair” and “right” thing to do in “respect” and “recognition” of their contributions to the game. The League said the retirees “voice” needs to be heard. .
On May 25th, the largest collective group of representatives of retired NFL Players ever assembled met a second time to reach a consensus on a series of united proposals for these needed improvements. .
The League has said that everyone needs to “focus on negotiations” because “there is a deal to be made.” We agree. The retirees therefore unanimously agreed to submit to the League a detailed framework for changes in retiree pensions, medical coverage and benefits, and disability programs. The framework will also include a component of medical monitoring for retirees that is designed to detect or prevent illness or disease at its earliest stages and provide for timely treatment. .
The retirees invite the League to be available for meetings beginning as early as Tuesday, May 31, to discuss this framework, exchange ideas and comments, and be best prepared to reach resolution when mediation formally resumes on June 7th and 8th in Minneapolis. .
As expressed in the April 4th letter from the League to the retirees, the League wished to hear the “voice” of the retirees. We are speaking. It’s now time for the League to listen. .
Any questions concerning this press release should be directed to Michael Hausfeld at Hausfeld LLP (202) 540-7200 or Daniel Mason, Mark Feinberg, or Shawn D. Stuckey at Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason (612) 336-9100. .
The largest collective group of representatives for retired NFL players ever assembled met yesterday in Minneapolis, Minnesota and agreed to unanimously support the class action litigation brought by retired NFL players against the League and its member clubs. That lawsuit is now pending before Judge Susan Nelson in federal court in Minneapolis. .
Among those present were: .continue reading »
So this was filed last Friday by the NFLPA: . (We’ve uploaded the legal documents to Scribd for easier viewing and to make it downloadable. You can click the link to go over to Scribd’s site where you can enlarge it for easier navigation (hit the ESC key to close). You can also click the DOWNLOAD button to save a PDF copy for printing and reading later) . NFLPA Workers Compensation Filing 3-25-11 .
And then Judge Crotty ruled on it Monday, March 28th with a very short and clear order. Just what part of ‘You-can’t-make-your-employees-pay-for-YOUR-Workers-Comp’ does the NFL not understand?