MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- (Marketwired) -- 04/09/13 -- Despite objections made by six individual plaintiffs, on April 5 the Court in the Dryer v. NFL publicity rights case granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement. Now, all members of the class will have the opportunity to express their opinion on the proposed settlement for the Court to consider before it gives the settlement final approval.
First, to clear up any misimpressions, the six individual plaintiffs who oppose this settlement -- Fred Dryer, Elvin Bethea, Jim Marshall, Dan Pastorini, Joe Senser, and Ed White -- did not request direct payments for themselves. Instead, they opposed the settlement because it is unfair to the entire class and all class members -- there is no assurance that even the neediest players will get one cent. The Dryer Plaintiffs will continue to oppose the settlement because they strongly believe it is unfair to the class of all retired players for many reasons, including:
•Each class member gives up all claims for the NFL's unauthorized past and unlimited future use of his identity to promote the NFL. •There is no guarantee that any class member whose publicity rights will be lost will receive payment or benefit through the settlement. Instead, the settlement money goes to existing charities, not players. The proposed settlement does not even identify those charities. •There is no procedure for any class member to submit a claim to receive direct benefits through the settlement, and there is no assurance that class members will be able to submit requests to the charities receiving settlement funds. •The settlement does not adequately fund the Licensing Agency or guarantee that it will be capable of generating any revenue. The Licensing Agency merely duplicates existing commercial licensing companies and has no access to NFL game footage.
The settlement is still not final because the Court must go through a final approval stage which happens over the next several months. Every class member will have to decide among three options: (1) participate in the settlement; (2) object to the settlement; or (3) exclude himself from the class. A class member who wants to object to the settlement or to exclude himself from the settlement must do so in writing. The deadline for a class member to object or to exclude himself from the settlement is August 30, 2013. The Court will hold a hearing to consider arguments about final approval, including objections to the proposed settlement, on September 19, 2013, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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