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NFL wants letter with details of settlement offer removed from web

The NFL’s litigation portfolio currently includes a lawsuit filed by retired players regarding the ongoing presence of their names and likenesses in NFL Films productions.  And the league isn’t happy that a supposedly sizable settlement offer has been leaked by one of the plaintiffs.

According to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, the NFL wants former player Bob Lurtsema to be held in contempt of court, Vincent LaGuardia Gambini-style, for publishing a letter that purports to include details of the settlement discussions.  The issue will be presented in court this afternoon, with a request that Lurtsema be questioned about who, if anyone, assisted him.

Lurtsema writes in an entry posted at that the league has offered $50 million, a proposal that Lurtsema deems unacceptable — but that the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, Michael Hausfeld, apparently recommends.

“The NFL-Hausfeld proposal will pay $42 million (after $8 million in legal fees are paid) over 12 years, with all of it going only to charity programs,” Lurtsema contends.  “That amounts to under $15/month for each of the 20,000+ players whose rights would also be signed away.  Of course, the lawyers would get paid $8 million up front immediately.  Looks to me like each of us will gain absolutely nothing from the NFL-Hausfeld settlement and only the NFL and the lawyers win.”

The NFL implies that Lurtsema’s claim isn’t accurate, argues that Lurtsema should not have said anything publicly about the situation, and asks that the letter be removed from the Internet.

“Lurtsema’s letter discloses [and distorts] many of the terms of the proposed settlement, in flagrant violation of the court’s repeated admonitions to all parties that the settlement negotiations, which are being conducted under the court’s supervision, must be held in strict confidence,” the NFL wrote to the court, via Kaplan.

If the NFL is willing to fork over that much cash, it suggests that the NFL is concerned about its potential liability, if the case would go to trial.

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9 Responses to “NFL wants letter with details of settlement offer removed from web”
  1. realitypolice says: Dec 5, 2012 11:36 AM

    These class actions suits are a scam designed by lawyer to ensure that the only people that benefit are themselves.

    The dollars amounts appear to be huge on their face, but once the lawyers take their fees and the rest of the money is split amongst the plaintiffs, there’s virtually nothing there.

  2. justintuckrule says: Dec 5, 2012 11:41 AM

    Before anyone criticizes the lawyers (like usual), the lawyers in this case are taking a sizable haircut by taking less than 15%. Going rate is a third.

  3. jluns275 says: Dec 5, 2012 12:05 PM

    The bad news for Lurtsema…whether or not you agree with the league, it looks like that guy should be found in contempt.

    The good news…all he has to do is say he had too many concussions, so he’s not responsible!!!

  4. bigjdve says: Dec 5, 2012 12:06 PM

    Doesn’t the leaking of this information constitute dealing in bad faith, something that could make any further negotiations harder, also taking away leverage?

  5. purpleguy says: Dec 5, 2012 12:37 PM

    While a great guy, Lurtsy has never been known for his intelligence.

  6. lawyermalloy says: Dec 5, 2012 1:03 PM

    Notice the NFL didn’t threaten to withdraw the settlement offer; indicates they think it’s a pretty good deal for them!

  7. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 5, 2012 1:07 PM

    Merry Christmas for the lawyers, what a big win! And screw you everybody else on Earth that probably should have more money than you have but no way to get it!

  8. minnesconsin says: Dec 5, 2012 1:11 PM

    ahh, benchwarmer bob 🙂

  9. devrocks247 says: Dec 5, 2012 1:13 PM

    “Removed from the internet?” Good luck with that.

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