We expected the NFLPA* to ask Judge David Doty to award as damages in the so-called “lockout insurance” case the money that the NFL left on the table when opting not to maximize the amount of the network rights fees in 2009, opting instead to finagle ongoing payments to the league during a work stoppage in 2011. We also expected the NFLPA* to ask Judge Doty to block the league from receiving $4.3 billion in rights fees during the lockout.
Based on the report from the Associated Press regarding the brief filed Thursday by the players, we were right on both counts. For a change.
But the players asked for even more than that. The players seek punitive damages based on the intentional and egregious nature (in the players’ opinion) of the violation. Basically, the players contend that the league disregarded its duty to max out the money to be shared with the players and instead negotiated payments during a work stoppage that will help only the league — and that will hurt the players. Specifically, the players want three times the actual damages as punitive damages.
The icing on the cake? The players also asked Judge Doty for relief from the lockout, even though the brief reportedly acknowledges that Judge Susan Nelson has the authority to do that. And she’ll take up that request on April 6.
Judge Doty has set a hearing on the damages in the “lockout insurance” case for May 12.