NFL players to receive $5 million per year for life under new settlement
The National Football League and its players’ union agreed to a $5.4 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit that alleges the league illegally used performance-enhancing drugs in the 1990s.
The settlement resolves a case that alleged players and the league colluded to create an illegal and widespread performance-addiction program that resulted in the deaths of dozens of former NFL players, according to the settlement, filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
The league and union reached the settlement Friday in exchange for a $2.9 million payment in each of the last three years, the league said in a statement.
The league has also agreed to pay $1.8 million in additional restitution to former players who sued the league and its former executives.
The case was filed in 2003 by former players John Jastremski and Steve Mollenkopf, who sued former NFL Executive Vice President for Business Operations Bill Parcells, former NFL Players Association Executive Director John Mara and NFL Chief Operating Officer Mike Tirico.
They claimed the league violated their constitutional rights by knowingly and willfully permitting and condoning the illegal and fraudulent use of performance-increasing drugs in a series of drug tests and other conduct that they allege was part of a larger scheme to promote and promote an illegal drug culture.
“The NFL Players Assoc., led by the union, had claimed the program had resulted in a decrease in the number of players who took the banned substances and a reduction in injuries.
In addition, the plaintiffs alleged that the program resulted in players becoming less competitive, which led to a decline in the league’s revenue.
The players’ attorney, Richard Berman, said the settlement is a step in the right direction in bringing an end to the decades-long case.”
The settlement also resolves the case of an appeal by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. “
We will continue to fight to see justice for the players.”
The settlement also resolves the case of an appeal by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
Taglibue had argued in the suit that the union and the players were responsible for creating a drug-testing program that allowed players to cheat on their drug tests.
The NFL has not commented on the settlement.
The U.N. Drug Enforcement Administration, which oversaw the program, was forced to step in and end the program in 1999 after a series in which the union accused the league of violating the U.K. drug-dealing laws and then using players’ names and images to promote the program.