A nationwide team from Manatt’s Sports Law Practice Group recently obtained a historic jury verdict in the amount of $28.1 million (including $21 million in punitive damages) for a class of more than 2,000 retired NFL players who had sued their union, the National Football League Players Association and its licensing arm, Players Inc. After a three-week trial during which both parties called numerous witnesses to the stand – including former NFLPA and Players Inc executive Doug Allen; his wife, former Players Inc executive Pat Allen; and former NFLPA President Trace Armstrong – the jury found that the union breached its contract with the retirees, violated its fiduciary obligations, and acted in willful disregard of the rights of the retirees that the union promised to represent.
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