Judge cuts soccer equal pay legal fees from $6.6M to $5.5M

Judge cuts soccer equal pay legal fees from .6M to .5M

Comment this story


A federal judge has given final approval to the settlement of the equal pay lawsuit between the players and the United States Soccer Federation, reducing legal costs from $6.6 million to $5.5 million.

The Jan. 4 legal costs order issued by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles was referenced Wednesday in an order from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking the parties whether they s objected to the dismissal of the appeal, which remains pending on the roll.

The players sued the USSF in 2019, seeking damages under the federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Klausner denied the equal pay claim in May 2020 while allowing claims about unfair working conditions. The parties settled the working conditions portion in December while the players appealed the wage claim to the 9th Circuit.

The parties announced a salary settlement on February 22 that included $22 million plus a $2 million fund to benefit female players in their post-football careers and charitable efforts to develop the sport for women.

Hope Solo, a goaltender who sued the USSF in 2018 alleging equal pay law violations and gender discrimination, filed an objection in October, in part over proposed legal fees . Players were represented by Winston & Strawn.

Klausner granted final approval Dec. 12 while postponing a decision on legal fees until Jan. 4.

“The court finds that an award of $5.5 million, which represents 22% of the $22 million pooled fund, is reasonable and that there are no special circumstances that warrant an upward or downward departure,” wrote Klausner. “Class attorneys argue that the circumstances warrant compensation of $6.6 million (30% of the fund), but the court disagrees.

“Class attorneys say that the final resolution of this case took a lot of work: hours spent reviewing documents, taking depositions, presenting substantive motions, participating in mediation and to the appeal process, all over a period of three years. He certainly did. But the amount of work involved stems, in large part, from the fact that the plaintiffs lost their equal pay claims following summary judgment.

“This fact contradicts Class Counsel’s other assertion that he achieved an outstanding result. Class counsel have undoubtedly succeeded, but not to a degree that justifies deviating from the 25% benchmark. »

Klausner also awarded $1,369,127 in out-of-pocket costs to cover experts, meals, travel and document preparation, including $50,000 for anticipated settlement administrative costs.

The USSF and its women’s and men’s players’ unions reached landmark collective bargaining agreements in May to pay its men’s and women’s national teams equally, deals that were signed in September.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *