Appeals court upholds settlement in lawsuit on retired players publicity rights


Back in 2013, the NFL reached a settlement with retired players who had brought a lawsuit over compensation for the use of their images but some retired players disagreed with the resolution and filed an appeal.

The Associated Press reports that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that upholds the $50 million settlement.

The players objected to the fact that the settlement did not provide for direct payments to players. Instead, it establishes a $42 million fund designed to help retired players with things like housing, career transition and medical needs in the coming years. The settlement calls for the fund to be administered by a group of retired players.

“The benefits of this settlement to the class are plain: it will assist those who most need assistance, and will resolve the very problem that this lawsuit seeks to address by allowing former players true access to the value of their rights of publicity,” U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson wrote in 2013. “Every hour of attorney time spent opposing the settlement only diminishes the value of that settlement to the members of the class.”

Money has also been set aside to set up a licensing agency to handle future publicity needs for retired players. Players who have yet to retire will also be able to use that agency in the future.