Retired players file lawsuit vs. NFLPA

Updated: September 14, 2011, 3:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twenty-eight former NFL players have filed a class-action federal lawsuit against the NFL Players Association, seeking at least $5 million in damages. They're alleging current players interfered with negotiations on the new collective bargaining agreement and kept money from the retirees.

Attorney Shawn Stuckey said Wednesday the group includes 25 Pro Football Hall of Famers and a player from every decade since the 1940s. Former Minnesota defensive end Carl Eller, an outspoken proponent of better retiree benefits, leads the list.

The suit filed in Minneapolis also names NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and former linebacker Mike Vrabel. Brady and Vrabel were plaintiffs on the antitrust lawsuit filed by the current players against the NFL in March before the lockout.

The lawsuit alleges that when the NFLPA decertified as a union it lost the right to negotiate retirees' benefits in the new CBA.

"This deals with the rights of retirees and how they were shortchanged by a process that negotiated their rights without input from them and then (how the decertified NFLPA) reached an agreement without the retirees' right to be heard," attorney Michael Hausfeld told Yahoo! Sports.

Hausfeld told Yahoo! Sports that the lawsuit will not pose a threat to the 10-year CBA the players and owners agreed to before this season.

NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis said the union had no comment.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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