Now that week one of the 2011-2012 NFL season has come and gone, the Lockout that lasted four and half months seems to be a distant memory–well for most.
A group of retired NFL players filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the NFL Players Association, union president DeMaurice Smith, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and former player Mike Vrabel, claiming they did not have the authority to negotiate on their behalf during the labor dispute.
The 51-page lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in Minnestoa,claims that the NFLPA had no right to negotiate on behalf of the retired players during the time that it wasn’t a union, along with a claim that the NFLPA intentionally interfered with the retired players’ rights against the NFL.
“They were not a union at that time,” Michael Hausfeld, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, told Yahoo! Sports.
Thus, any agreement concerning pension, retiree health care or other issues was not properly agreed, Hausfeld said.
He argues that the CBA does not address a number of concerns for the retirees and claims the current players used the retired players’ interests as collateral in negotiations.
“The retirees’ rights were sacrificed for the benefit of the active players,” Hausfeld said.
While the suit does not threaten the labor peace reached by the new collective bargaining agreement, it does seeks to readjust the deal to better reflect the interests of the retirees.
The suit includes 23 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Bednarik, Eller, Hannah, Dan Hampton, Paul Krause, Lemuel Barney, Mel Renfro and Elvin Bethea among others.