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Judge approves settlement of Dryer case, despite Dryer’s objections

Dryer Getty Images

The NFL recently struck a deal to settle a lawsuit brought by former players regarding the use of their names and likenesses following the conclusion of their playing careers.  The biggest impediment to the settlement of the class action came from the fact that the original plaintiffs, including defensive end turned actor Fred Dryer, opposed the settlement along with six other original named plaintiffs.

A federal judge granted preliminary approval to the settlement despite the objections.  In so doing, Judge Paul Magnuson went mightier-than-the-sword against Dryer and the other plaintiffs who didn’t like the proposed deal primarily because of their own piece of the plaintiff pie.

“It bears repeating:  the individuals who originally brought this lawsuit and who now oppose the settlement rode into Court on the banner of saving their downtrodden brethren, those who had played in the NFL yet today were penniless and, often, suffering from injuries or illnesses directly related to their playing days,” Judge Magnuson writes.  “It is the height of disingenuousness for these same Plaintiffs to now complain, like children denied dessert, that the settlement does not benefit enough the individuals who brought the lawsuit.”

A hearing on the final approval of the settlement will be held on September 19, 2013.  In the interim, all members of the class will have an opportunity to file their own objections to the proposed agreement, which “provides for a fund overseen by a panel of former player . . . that will distribute payments to assist former players and their families, and for a licensing agency to market former players’ publicity rights, with the blessing (and the use of some trademarks and copyrights) of the NFL.”

The efforts will be overseen by a group of players that includes Dryer’s former teammate with the Rams, Jim Youngblood.  Also on the panel will be Jim Brown, Irv Cross, Billy Joe Dupree, Ron Mix, Darrell Thompson, and David Robinson.

Once a class action settlement receives the preliminary blessing of the presiding judge, the case usually settles according to the proposed deal.  But the law requires i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed before the rights of people who haven’t joined the lawsuit are determined, even if few if any of those people will ever complain.

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15 Responses to “Judge approves settlement of Dryer case, despite Dryer’s objections”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 8, 2013 1:30 PM

    Hmm I must be missing something. The Judge writes and explains what his viewpoints are and states an accounting of events that have transpired, but he doesn’t explain why and how he reached that conclusion. What’s the justification for why Dryer’s objections are without merit? So if the settlement package to Dryer turned out to be 1 cent because that’s how the math happened to work out in coordination with the agreement, then Dryer should just stand mute and accept that everything is right here?

    Did the Judge write down a number that is the break-even point of determining the rightful award amount?

  2. rickastleydancemoves says: Apr 8, 2013 1:47 PM

    Retired NFL players have become equally annoying as fighting pitbulls who can’t perform anymore.

    Signed,
    Mike Vick

  3. briang123 says: Apr 8, 2013 2:01 PM

    Call me when a first round draft pick says “you know, the cash just isn’t worth the risks of playing football. I think I will take that job offer from the electrician’s union instead.”

  4. godofwine330 says: Apr 8, 2013 2:05 PM

    @ rickastleydancemoves

    …just WOW

    So many people remember this guy for Hunter than what he did on the football field. I am an enthusiast and have been since I was 9 in 1986, so I remember hearing about his NFL days. It is a shame that the NFL didn’t kep sack stats before 1982 because it would have been great to see what kind of outlandish numbers Deacon Jones and Bill George had as well as many others.

  5. andrewproughcfe says: Apr 8, 2013 2:24 PM

    @thestrategyexpert says:
    Apr 8, 2013 1:30 PM
    Hmm I must be missing something. The Judge writes and explains what his viewpoints are and states an accounting of events that have transpired, but he doesn’t explain why and how he reached that conclusion. What’s the justification for why Dryer’s objections are without merit? So if the settlement package to Dryer turned out to be 1 cent because that’s how the math happened to work out in coordination with the agreement, then Dryer should just stand mute and accept that everything is right here?

    Did the Judge write down a number that is the break-even point of determining the rightful award amount?

    =======================

    You are missing something. What the judge is saying is that the intended outcome of the case was for all former NFL players to have access to a fund for their injuries and illnesses. That’s now been agreed upon, but the original parties who put their name on the suit are saying that they personally want separate amounts of money as part of the settlement. The judge is disagreeing with that viewpoint, saying that their personal enrichment was not a reasonable outcome of the lawsuit.

  6. gixrider says: Apr 8, 2013 2:32 PM

    “It bears repeating: the individuals who originally brought this lawsuit and who now oppose the settlement rode into Court on the banner of saving their downtrodden brethren, those who had played in the NFL yet today were penniless and, often, suffering from injuries or illnesses directly related to their playing days,” Judge Magnuson writes. “It is the height of disingenuousness for these same Plaintiffs to now complain, like children denied dessert, that the settlement does not benefit enough the individuals who brought the lawsuit.”

    Awesome.

  7. hempoilcures says: Apr 8, 2013 2:40 PM

    Someone should of told Fred that Class Action suit’s only benefit the Lawyers. The court plays along and nothing really happens except Lawyers and Judges getting paid…..KANGAROO COURTS.

  8. stoolerz says: Apr 8, 2013 2:44 PM

    I can see it now. Jim Brown aurguing that the old white players shouldn’t get any of the cut.

  9. wattdahell says: Apr 8, 2013 3:19 PM

    Mike, I’m sure you realize by now Dryer’s teammate was HoFer “Jack” Youngblood.

  10. mack2x says: Apr 8, 2013 3:20 PM

    Class action lawsuits are a joke. Everybody gets $20 while the lawyers walk away with millions.

  11. stew48 says: Apr 8, 2013 3:20 PM

    I am neither a lawyer nor an idiot. I do think it is a little early to judge Dreyer so severely when no informative explanation is included in the article. There is just an outside chance his motive was not selfish, but of one wanting to help others. Does any of that ring a bell with some of you?

  12. jm91rs says: Apr 8, 2013 3:35 PM

    I had no idea this guy was HUNTER!?!?

  13. changsteinelgamal says: Apr 8, 2013 4:35 PM

    Perfect opportunity to post a picture of Officer McCall and you blew it. The chance will never come again.

  14. bunjy96 says: Apr 8, 2013 4:45 PM

    Fair ruling based in the facts, not emotion.

  15. computojon says: Apr 9, 2013 6:05 PM

    Trivia question: Who is the only player in NFL history to record TWO safeties in ONE game? Let’s get even crazier: the two safeties were in ONE QUARTER! (If my memory serves, it was the second quarter.)

    Answer: F___ D____

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