A federal jury in San Francisco ordered the National Football League players' union to pay $28.1 million to more than 2,000 retired players for failing to protect their interests in a group licensing agreement.
The retirees claimed in a class action lawsuit that the NFL Players Association cut them out of millions of dollars in royalties for use of players' images on video games and trading cards.
The verdict by a civil jury in the court of U.S. District Judge William Alsup came after a three-week trial.
The award included $7.1 million for breach of fiduciary duty and an additional $21 million in punitive damages.
Peter Parcher, a lawyer for the retirees, said after the verdict, "The retired players are absolutely vindicated."
Players association attorney Jeffrey Kessler said the union will appeal.
"We believe the verdict was contrary to law." Kessler said