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Lawyer representing Eller class threatens settlement

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Not long after Tom Brady and nine other current players filed a lawsuit aimed at blocking the lockout or, at a minimum, providing the players with enough leverage to get a fair labor deal, a class of former players filed a similar suit, raising virtually identical allegations of antitrust violations, even though none of the retired players have any direct stake in the situation because they are, you know, retired.  The only thing saving the suit from being borderline frivolous was the addition of an undraftable rookie, who argued that the draft is illegal.

The NFL and the current players have been respectful to the class of retired players, led by Carl Eller, and their lawyer, Michael Hausfeld.  The current players, for example, didn’t resist effort to combine the two cases, and Eller and Hausfeld were involved in early court-ordered mediation sessions, even though Eller and Hausfeld seemed to be a little too willing to talk about what was happening behind closed doors.  The league likewise has treated Eller with deference and respect, allowing him to meet with owners last week to address his concerns.

Over the past four weeks, the real parties in this dispute — the NFL and the NFLPA* — have been meeting in an effort to resolve the situation and allow the lockout to end.  But there’s a problem.  Per Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, Hausfeld doesn’t like the fact that the Eller plaintiffs have been excluded from recent talks, and Hausfeld is threatening to disrupt the settlement process.

“If our side is not heard and our desire for change is not met, we will not agree to a settlement of this case,” Hausfeld told Cole, while also acknowledging that the Eller plaintiffs likely have no ability to prevent a settlement of the case.  “We want substantial changes in all phases of the post-career life of retirees and those issues will be addressed.”

That’s fine, but it makes the Eller case no less weak.  Once a labor deal is resurrected, the retired players’ claims morph from borderline frivolous to moot.  If the NFL and the NFLPA* reach a settlement that includes a new labor deal, the Eller case will become moot.

Until then, it’s just borderline frivolous.

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16 Responses to “Lawyer representing Eller class threatens settlement”
  1. bronco1st says: Jun 29, 2011 12:15 AM

    Hausfeld is sounding a little cranky, time for a dydi change.

  2. hobartbaker says: Jun 29, 2011 1:10 AM

    Grim Reaper has been to Eller’s house a few times, but he can’t work up the courage to knock on the door. Once Carl came out while the Reaper was hanging around outside and demanded to know what he was doing there. Grim got really scared and just croaked out “Trick or treat?”. Eller glared at him and said “Get lost, kid, don’t you know it’s March?”. So he did.

  3. footballisfun says: Jun 29, 2011 1:12 AM

    I loved watching him play. Loves me some Purple People Eaters.

  4. hobartbaker says: Jun 29, 2011 1:20 AM

    The Devil went down to Georgia after Carl Eller told him not to show his splotchy face in the Midwest again.

  5. transam7816 says: Jun 29, 2011 1:41 AM

    Your story is borderline frivolous

  6. SmurfJuice says: Jun 29, 2011 2:08 AM

    Question #1: How much is the total cost of health benefits for every retired player, annually?

    Question #2: How much money are the owners projecting to make under the proposed CBA?

    Question #3: How much money are current players projecting to make under the proposed CBA?

    You can’t each put aside 0.5% annually to help those who helped you earn that much money? Not to mention, help YOURSELF after you retire and your body is no longer fit for the club scene, VH1, or even your own home?

  7. MichaelEdits says: Jun 29, 2011 3:02 AM

    De Smith dethroned. Carl Eller, best hat ever.

  8. jacksaysfu says: Jun 29, 2011 4:27 AM

    I would like a bigger couch to sit on while i watch football , I think I should now have a seat at these settlement negotiations too !!

  9. vahawker says: Jun 29, 2011 5:41 AM

    “We want substantial changes in all phases of the post-career life of retirees and those issues will be addressed.”

    Then why didn’t they address that before they were former players?

  10. jimmysee says: Jun 29, 2011 6:02 AM

    Carl Eller is s smart guy — I’m sure he sees this, too.

  11. evrybdyhas1 says: Jun 29, 2011 6:17 AM

    More Crap pissing off the the doormat, economically challenged fans.

  12. blackdb says: Jun 29, 2011 7:12 AM

    I played 3 years of Div 1 college football and suffered a career ending neck injury. Under the logic of former NFL players because it is a contact sport that caused the pain I feel basically every day I should be entitled to health benefits and such from the NCAA because I helped make it the money making monster it is today. Listen I agree that more needs to be done for the former players I just think sometimes they come off as very bitter about the salaries today and think they are entitled to a cut.

  13. maximus50 says: Jun 29, 2011 7:18 AM

    Ok, retired players get over it. Maybe millions of adult Americans should sue the horrible companies they worked for when they got their first job while in high school. I think Burger King must owe me some money for my help laying the foundation for their success…….sound stupid? Well, that’s how stupid these guys sound over sour grapes they’ve been harboring for decades.

  14. dewalt2990 says: Jun 29, 2011 7:23 AM

    How can the retirees hold this up when their case is “borderline frivolous”? The CBA is between the NFL and the NFLPA*.

  15. rpiotr01 says: Jun 29, 2011 7:29 AM

    Uhh, Fuzzy Thurston will take his new benefits in the form of a big check made out to “I.R.S.”….

  16. CKL says: Jun 29, 2011 1:00 PM

    blackdb says:
    Jun 29, 2011 7:12 AM
    I played 3 years of Div 1 college football and suffered a career ending neck injury. Under the logic of former NFL players because it is a contact sport that caused the pain I feel basically every day I should be entitled to health benefits and such from the NCAA because I helped make it the money making monster it is today. Listen I agree that more needs to be done for the former players I just think sometimes they come off as very bitter about the salaries today and think they are entitled to a cut.
    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
    First of all , I am sorry your career was cut short by injury. I hate to hear of that happening to anyone especially so early on.

    The best thing I ever heard on the topic is this: someone asked Sammy Baugh if he was ticked off that today’s players made so much money compared to those of his era. Baugh, who was a funny, salty MFer who always spoke his mind, looked at the guy and said, “He** naw I ain’t mad. Ain’t an f****** thing I can do about it.”
    Profane words of wisdom. :)

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