Federal appeals court backs NFL Films in lawsuit against 3 players

Published 11:40 am Saturday, February 27, 2016

ST. PAUL — A federal appeals court has affirmed a lower court decision against three retired NFL players who opted out of a $50 million settlement with NFL Films.

NFL Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea, Fred Dryer and Ed White objected to the 2013 settlement of a class-action lawsuit over publicity rights for retired players. The settlement set up a trust fund to help retired players with issues such as medical expenses, housing and career transition, and it established a licensing agency for retirees to ensure compensation for the use of their identities. It did not include direct payments to former players.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday agreed with a Minnesota federal judge’s 2014 ruling that NFL Films did not violate the three players’ rights by using their images.

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