District Judge Ginger Berrigan in New Orleans ruled in favor of Goodell's motion to dismiss Vilma's complaint, which was filed in May and set out 11 claims. Vilma had argued that Goodell made false statements, tarnishing the player's reputation, in connection with the league's investigation of what it determined was a system that offered cash bonuses to Saints players for big hits from But Paul Tagliabue, Goodell's predecessor as commissioner, heard a final round of player appeals and threw out the suspensions last month. The ruling effectively ends most of the litigation in the Bountygate scandal, according to Tulane University law professor Gabe Feldman:.
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The suit in U. District Court in New Orleans claims Goodell, "relied on, at best, hearsay, circumstantial evidence and lies" in making comments about Vilma while discussing the NFL's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints.
Vilma wrote on his Twitter account that, "As I've said before.. Goodell has suspended Vilma, an eight-year veteran and defensive captain, for the entire season.
Vilma and three other current of former Saints who received shorter suspensions -- defensive end Will Smith , defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove and linebacker Scott Fujita -- all have appealed their punishments. Hargrove now plays for Green Bay while Fujita is with Cleveland.
We recognize that not everyone will agree with decisions that need to be made. The NFL also hired former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White in late to review its evidence in the case, and White has said the NFL's findings are corroborated by multiple independent witnesses as well as documentation.
Vilma's lawsuit, which is expected to be heard by Judge Ginger Berrigan, asks for unspecified monetary damages as well as punitive damage and attorneys fees. The lawsuit states that Goodell, "knew and intended that Vilma would suffer severe emotional distress" when the NFL published its bounty report and handed down punishment for the year-old linebacker.
The players' association has said that the league has refused to turn over what the union would view as hard evidence that Vilma or the other sanctioned players tried to intentionally injure targeted opponents, or sponsored such behavior. Vilma's lawsuit states that the linebacker "never 'pledged,' made or received payments of any kind encouraging or resulting from an opposing player being injured.
The Saints have been punished harshly as an organization. Head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for all of for failing to put a stop to the program and attempting to cover it up, while general manager Mickey Loomis has been suspended eight games and assistant head coach Joe Vitt six games.
Payton, Loomis and Williams all have issued written public apologies regarding the bounty scandal. Skip to navigation. Saints' Vilma files defamation suit vs. New Orleans Saints. Detroit Lions. Brees apologizes: I 'completely missed the mark'. Fromm apologizes for 'elite white people' text.
Buffalo Bills. Colts GM: 'We can't go back into our bubble'. Indianapolis Colts. Fins' Flores urges players to be safe at protests. Miami Dolphins. Dallas Cowboys. NFL coaching staffs can return to facilities Friday. Vikings, Cards, Seahawks off to honor Floyd.
Arizona Cardinals. Pack players, LaFleur create social justice video. Green Bay Packers. Brees' comments 'hurt' Saints teammate Jenkins.
Oklahoma Sooners. It's up to Matt LaFleur to create big plays for Packers without big additions. Can young defenders step up for Pats? Success of unit depends on it. Browns replenish defensive depth around reinstated Myles Garrett. Chiefs replacing a punting institution with fiery Tommy Townsend. Adoree' Jackson embraces possibility of new role for Titans.
Cincinnati Bengals. Will the NFL season start on time? Here's everything we know, days out. Can Patriots' offense improve without Tom Brady? Answers might surprise. New England Patriots. Barnwell debunks the debate around Dak's deal: Just pay him already, Dallas. Baltimore Ravens.
May 18, Associated Press.
Vilma’s Lawsuit Against Goodell Is Dismissed
District Judge Ginger Berrigan in New Orleans had been holding off ruling on the case while awaiting for Vilma to go through the process of appealing his season-long suspension by the NFL. Goodell initially said the linebacker was a ring leader in the New Orleans Saints ' bounty scandal. In announcing its investigation of the bounty program, the league said Vilma offered cash to teammates to injure opponents. Vilma appealed the suspension issued by Goodell, and the commissioner upheld it. But Goodell recused himself from a second appeal.
Jonathan Vilma's lawsuit against Roger Goodell dismissed
The suit in U. District Court in New Orleans claims Goodell, "relied on, at best, hearsay, circumstantial evidence and lies" in making comments about Vilma while discussing the NFL's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints. Vilma wrote on his Twitter account that, "As I've said before.. Goodell has suspended Vilma, an eight-year veteran and defensive captain, for the entire season. Vilma and three other current of former Saints who received shorter suspensions -- defensive end Will Smith , defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove and linebacker Scott Fujita -- all have appealed their punishments.
Judge tosses Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against Roger Goodell
Judge Helen Berrigan found Vilma's claims, and the evidence to support them, to be insufficient and upheld Goodell's right to investigate conduct detrimental to the league under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. But Berrigan took a swipe at Goodell's initial investigation and the pall the entire situation placed over the Saints' season. Vilma was initially suspended for the entire season. Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who heard the players' appeals after Goodell upheld his own decision, vacated all of the suspensions of the players involved.
Why Jonathan Vilma May Have a Case After All Against Roger Goodell, NFL
Their hometown Saints were caught and promptly punished for their despicable bounty program. What's more, the chance to play in the Super Bowl in their home city might be lost as well. Jonathan Vilma is suing the commissioner for defamation and is asking the league to bring forth evidence that specifically and unequivocally pegs the Saints linebacker as the "ring leader" of the bounty program, which would make a year-long suspension justifiable. I'd be shocked if the NFL actually turns over their tangible evidence, which would further infuriate Saints fans and potentially other fans across the league.