NFL union files suit vs. league

By Barry Wilner

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, May 24 2012 12:24 a.m. MDT

This is dangerous territory for any sport.

In baseball, the union filed collusion grievances following the 1985, 1986 and 1987 seasons accusing management of conspiring against free agents. After arbitrators ruled in the union's favor, management agreed to a $280 million settlement. Among the players affected were Jack Morris, Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, Jack Clark and Lance Parrish.

A triple-damages provision was inserted into the sport's labor contract in 1990.

This case is not comparable to baseball's, according to Gary Roberts, dean at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

"With baseball players it was strictly a matter for arbitration," Roberts said, "where here the union is alleging a violation of the White class action. Procedurally and substantively the claims are not that similar.

"The union's problem is not in the merits of their argument, it's in the procedural part of it. They signed a CBA that said all litigations are settled. What they're saying now is that only applied to things that 'we were aware of. We only waived and settled all claims that we knew existed. We couldn't be asked to waive any claims that we did not know existed.' "

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