The NFL has had to contend with a lot of legal fallout for its use of a special helmet worn by its players.
Now it has to contend in the court system as well.
That is the question at the heart of the case that has been brewing since a federal appeals court ruled that the league did not have to pay any damages in the wake of the Deflategate suspension.
The case, in which a coalition of plaintiffs seeks to get the league to pay millions of dollars in compensatory damages, is being heard by a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
If the panel finds that the NFL has been wrongfully liable, it would force the league — which has won nearly every appeal it has gone through — to make the payments.
That’s a huge blow for the league, which has already been ordered to pay $25 million to former players in the DeflateGate settlement, $3 million to the Patriots and $5 million to several players for personal injuries.
The issue at stake is whether the NFL can be sued under federal civil rights laws in a lawsuit that has the potential to set a precedent for future liability.
The NFL has already faced a federal civil antitrust lawsuit in a similar case filed in federal court in New York City, which is being closely watched by other states and corporations, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft.
The 5th circuit panel heard arguments last week in a case brought by the NFLPA, which argues that the settlement between the league and the players is “a prelude to a lawsuit” under the federal law that applies to sports leagues.
The NFLPA has said that it will file an appeal if the panel rules against it.
The league and its attorneys have long argued that the lawsuit is frivolous and should be dismissed.
The players’ attorneys say that the case is important for two reasons: 1) the league needs to pay compensation to players who were injured in games or during their careers; and 2) the case has important implications for antitrust law, which protects companies from being sued under anti-trust laws.
As part of its appeal, the NFL also has asked the court to determine whether the settlement was properly negotiated.
If it does, it will have to explain how it will compensate those players who received injuries.
The league says it will make the case public.
The players have argued that any compensation the league would receive is in the form of fines, bonuses and other incentives, and that the deal was not negotiated in good faith.
The parties also disagree over what constitutes a fair compensation package.
The settlement requires the NFL to pay the salaries of at least 20 players, with an additional 10 players receiving partial payment.
If there are more players, the payout is increased.
The settlement does not include money for medical care, but the NFL says that was agreed to.
In addition, the league says that the salary cap, which sets the salary ceiling for players, is set by the league itself, and there is no way to increase it without approval by the commissioner.NFLPA attorneys say the settlement amounts to a $10 million “wastage fund” and argues that if the league had actually paid the players it would be worth $70 million.
“This settlement is a waste of taxpayers’ money and an insult to the millions of Americans who have suffered through years of uncertainty and humiliation because of the Commissioner’s inaction,” NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement.
“The NFLPA believes this settlement is not fair and this settlement will not fix any of the problems we’ve faced for years.”
The case is the latest in a series of legal battles between the NFL and its players that have drawn criticism from the business community.
The New York Times has reported that the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Rams and the Miami Dolphins all signed multimillion-dollar deals to settle lawsuits brought by former players alleging they suffered concussion-related concussions.
The New Orleans Saints agreed to pay a total of $30 million.
In the case in Virginia, the plaintiffs are seeking compensation from the NFL, the players and the league.
The plaintiffs say the NFL failed to pay them medical bills and missed payments for work they performed in the years after they left the league after the Deflator scandal broke in the spring of 2016.
The suit alleges that the players suffered permanent brain damage, memory loss, cognitive impairment and other effects related to the injuries they suffered.
The plaintiffs have argued in the lawsuits that the settlements violated the players’ rights to a fair trial and a fair hearing.
They also argue that the agreements violate antitrust laws because the players were compensated in the same way as the owners and executives of the NFL who paid the salaries for the years following the DeflatedGate suspensions.