SAN FRANCISCO — Payments to minor leaguers in the $185 million settlement by Major League Baseball of a suit alleging violations of federal minimum wage laws are being held up over an appeal filed by four objectors to the attorneys fees specified in the deal.
Former minor leaguers Daniel Concepcion, Anthony Garcia, Sidney Duprey Conde and Aldemar Burgos are challenging the settlement filed with the court last July that was approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero in March. They want $6.5 million of the $55.5 million in attorneys fees reallocated to a certain class of player and asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to decide in their favor.
Spero ruled Wednesday the objectors have 45 days to submit to depositions with the lawyers who filed the suit.
“Objectors’ counsel has repeatedly made the frivolous assertion that the appeal will not delay implementation of the settlement agreement — a gross misrepresentation of the terms of the settlement agreement that may also have been made to the objectors,” Spero wrote in a four-page order.
“These indicia that the objectors’ appeal may be lawyer-driven and/or based on misconceptions about basic facts related to the terms of the settlement agreement provide a sufficient basis to support plaintiffs’ request for an order compelling the depositions of the appealing objectors.”
Under terms of the settlement, about 24,000 players are potentially eligible to share the money, with estimated payments to players averaging in the $5,000 to $5,500 range.
The settlement covers all players with minor league contracts who played in the California League for at least seven straight days starting on Feb. 7, 2010, through the settlement’s preliminary approval last Aug. 26; players who participated in spring training, extended spring training or instructional leagues in Florida from Feb. 7, 2009, through last Aug. 26; and players who participated in spring training, extended spring training or instructional leagues in Arizona from Feb. 7, 2011, through last Aug. 26.
Payments in minor league lawsuit settlement held up by appeal over legal fees