In a move that widely was expected, the NFL Players Association has appealed the $28.1 million verdict entered against it last year in a lawsuit filed by former players who claimed that the union failed to properly market their names and likenesses.
In federal court, the appeal process is initiated via the filing of a “notice of appeal,” a rare one-page document in an industry premised on the systematic destruction of trees.
Eventually, the parties will submit briefs and engage in oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
As we’ve previously pointed out, the most glaring problem with the verdict seems to be the fact that the $7 million award of compensatory damages was essentially pulled out of thin air by the jury.  The plaintiffs did not introduce evidence of any actual losses suffered by them due to the actions of the union.  Thus, there arguably is no basis in the record of evidence to support the number on which the jury arrived.
And if the award of compensatory damages falls, the $21 million punitive damages award also will fall, since punitive damages must be reasonably related to compensatory damages — and any award of punitive damages that exceeds the compensatories by a ratio of more than 10-to-1 implicates due process problems under the U.S. Constitution.


  1. Make Roger Goodell use all the money he received for stupid ass fines pony up the cash

  2. DwaredominatesAgain says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 2:01 pm
    Make Roger Goodell use all the money he received for stupid ass fines pony up the cash
    100% of fine money goes to charity

  3. This union’s current leadership seems just as out of touch with its constituents as the Washington DC is with the rest of us. What tools. I hope Troy Vincent gets in there and cleans up that mess, but I’m not holding my breath.

  4. For the non-lawyer audience, or as I call them, the people who were smart enough not to go to law school, the case is being appealed to the 9th Circuit, which is the most overturned appeals court int he country. It is full of judges like Steven Reinhardt (married to head of Southern California ACLU President, need I saw more?) who really don’t care about the law and who know that the Supreme Court can’t possibly overtunr them as much as they need to be overturned. Were this case going to a real appeals court that actually cares about the law, I could easily see the verdict getting overturned.

  5. DJSLY
    your last sentence, do you mean not overturned?, or is the 9th Circuit the most likely NOT to overturn?
    -curious law student

  6. they can use the money they’re not paying a president of the union to cover much of the cost.

  7. DJSLY,
    are you one of the “smart ones” who didn’t go? or one of the dumb ones who failed out?
    It has to be one of the two.

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