On Monday, a trial was scheduled to commence in the StarCaps case.
It possibly won’t.
The Associated Press reports that the NFL “wants to move” the lawsuit filed by Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams back to federal court.
Standard practice in cases of this nature involves an automatic removal of the case to federal court. Given that the StarCaps case already was in federal court, the situation apparently is more complex.
Federal judge Paul Magnuson will take up the request, which was filed on Wednesday. Magnuson previously ruled that the Vikings players may pursue in state court claims arising under Minnesota drug-testing laws. His decision was upheld on appeal.
Barring the intervention of the federal court, the Minnesota proceeding eventually will take up various claims of alleged violations of drug-testing statutes, and the key question of whether the NFL is liable for any violations as a joint employer of the players.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press that the attempted move to federal court is a procedural matter. Technically, he’s right. As a practical matter, however, the league is making the move in the hopes of securing a better outcome than the outcome the league fears it will experience in Minnesota court.
UPDATE: Amazingly, Magnuson already has denied the effort, saying that the attempt to return to federal court “borders on abuse of process.”