Jury orders NFL union to pay $7.1M to retirees

SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal jury has ordered the NFL Players Association to pay $7.1 million to retired players after finding the union failed to properly market their images.

The jury also says the players' association should pay an additional punitive damages award and began deliberating on that issue Monday.

A lawyer for the retired players asked the jury to punish the union with a $21.9 million award, roughly 10 percent of the union's net worth at the start of the year.

A union lawyer urged the jury to award a far lesser amount so as not to damage the union's ability to represent its members.

The class action lawsuit represents 2,056 retirees who contend the union cut them out of lucrative licensing deals.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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