NFLPA Collusion Case back on
Published 30 June 2014
By: Joseph M. Hanna
On Friday June 20, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals breathed some life back into the NFLPA’s 2012 claim against the NFL. In 2010, the NFLPA opted out of their collective bargaining agreement with the NFL.
As a result, the 2010 season proceeded without a salary cap. When Washington and Dallas were slapped with subsequent salary cap penalties for their generous spending in the 2010 season, the NFLPA brought this claim against the NFL for colluding with the NFL teams and enforcing a secret $123 million salary cap.
District Judge Doty dismissed the NFLPA’s complaint, however, because the 2011 CBA they signed contains a provision dismissing the NFL from any prior claims. Friday’s ruling at the Court of Appeals, which can be read here
, reinstates the action. While the NFLPA concedes that the dismissal provision would bar them from bringing the claim, the NFLPA is trying get around the dismissal by claiming it was obtained fraudulently, and therefore unenforceable.
The NFLPA released a written statement on the ruling. The statement expresses the NFLPA’s optimism and intent to “pursue and protect the rights of its players.” The NFL also released a written statement on the ruling, expressing their confidence that the claim will be dismissed again.
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Joseph Hanna is a partner of Goldberg Segalla and concentrates his practice in commercial litigation with a focus on sports and entertainment law and retail, hospitality, and development litigation. Joe represents sports franchises, professional athletes, and movie studios with various issues related to licensing, contracts, and day-to-day management. He serves as Chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Sports and Entertainment Law Practice Group and editor of the firm’s Sports and Entertainment Law Insider blog. In addition, Joe is the Chair of Goldberg Segalla's Diversity Task Force. He possesses an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.