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Judge dismisses D.J. Williams’ lawsuit against the NFL

Denver Broncos v Minnesota Vikings Getty Images

Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams probably should have taken the deal that was offered to former teammate Ryan McBean.  If it had been available.

Both filed suit against the NFL following the imposition of six-game suspensions for violation of the league’s policy regarding banned substances.  McBean settled his claim by accepting a three-game suspension.  Williams didn’t get the opportunity to do so, so he pushed forward.

And now a judge has pushed Williams’ claim out of court.

Judge Christine M. Arguello dismissed the case today, granting the NFL’s motion for summary judgment.

Peter Ginsberg, who represents Williams, tells PFT that Judge Arguello deferred to the NFL’s in-house review process, explaining that she has no authority to substitute her judgment for the judgment of NFL executive Harold Henderson, who handled the internal appeal.  Ginsberg said that Judge Arguello also noted that Williams had received a full and fair hearing.

“We are considering an appeal,” Ginsberg said.

The suit came after the league concluded that the players had submitted “non-human” urine specimens during steroids testing.  Williams had alleged that the league failed to seal the sample in his presence, failed to document the time the sample was provided, failed to secure Williams’ initials on the seal on the side of the specimen container, failed to establish the whereabouts of the sample for as long as two hours and 50 minutes, and failed to indicate the time the sample was received by FedEx.  Williams also claimed that Henderson’s partiality was undermined by the fact that NFL general counsel Jeff Pash directed Henderson to delay the issuance of a ruling following the December 13, 2011 appeal hearing.

McBean signed with the Ravens following the settlement of his claim.  Williams, barring a legal miracle, will be unavailable for the first six games of the 2012 regular season, missing contests against the Steelers, Falcons, Texans, Raiders, Patriots, and Chargers.

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19 Responses to “Judge dismisses D.J. Williams’ lawsuit against the NFL”
  1. captatl says: Jun 21, 2012 6:15 PM

    You would think Ginsberg would at some point reconize that courts wont listen to any of this drivel that is covered by a CBA. The courts view is that both sides have agreed to the procedures and will not interfere.

  2. lawyermalloy says: Jun 21, 2012 6:21 PM

    It’s going to be a long hot summer for Peter Ginsberg, Esq. It’s an absolute certainty that his law suit against “The Comish” will suffer the same fate!

  3. clickablecontent says: Jun 21, 2012 6:25 PM

    Note: Ginsberg is taking a different tactic as Vilma’s lawyer, suing Goodell personally for defamation. Judge Arguello has defered to NFL judgement in Williams’s case and Arbitrator Stephen Burbank has ruled Goodell indeed has authority to discipline players for bounties. Precedence is being established.

  4. beeroncos says: Jun 21, 2012 6:36 PM

    I have a feeling that Denver will try to move DJ and barring that, outright waive him. He is good for 100+ tackles, but that may be more indicative of a D-Line that quite simply has been horrid for the past several years.

    Even so, DJ never lived up to his first round selection, and has not exactly been a solid citizen off the field, with the DUIs and now this.

    The Elway way is generally the highway for folks that negatively represent the franchise.

    Also, there are a couple younger guys that I am sure Fox/Del Rio want to get reps with the starters during camp…

  5. thcnote says: Jun 21, 2012 6:44 PM

    As a Broncos fan I say good. Glad to hear it. Even though the thing was a mess I’m glad he didn’t get off because we all know he was guilty. To bad the Saints fans can’t see past their colors. The Broncos should just cut DJ. He’s a good player but enough is enough.

  6. bigjdve says: Jun 21, 2012 6:48 PM

    Williams should’ve dropped the suit. He and a team-mate were both nailed for submitting urine that wasn’t from a human. Since McBean has already admitted guilt, that would mean that his team-mate (Williams) has an all but impossible task of getting his suspension overturned.

    The fact that Ginsberg is his lawyer probably hurts him as well when it comes to getting the offer for suspension reduction.

    He should just go to Henderson and admit that he was just trying all of his options and ask for a reduction. Better yet ask, Goodell for the reduction.

    How much you want to bet that Goodell would give it to him to show that he is fair and impartial?

  7. briang123 says: Jun 21, 2012 6:49 PM

    Ahh, the Ryan Braun defense….

  8. cwwgk says: Jun 21, 2012 7:01 PM

    How ominous. An NFL player violates a league rule. The player is suspended by the league for the violation. The player appeals the suspension pursuant to the CBA. A league official hears the appeal and upholds the suspension.

    The player then seeks to have his suspension lifted by a court of law. A judge review the player’s claims but throws the case out of court. The judge’s reasoning is that she had no authority over the suspension because it was governed by the CBA. The player is represented by the same attorney as Jonathan Vilma.

    Perhaps this ruling better illustrates the approach the judicial system would take if any of the four suspended Saints players appeal their suspensions to a court of law. The court will look to see if the discipline and appeal procedures in the CBA were followed. If so, the courts will exercise judicial restraint by dismissing the case(s).

  9. jason1980 says: Jun 21, 2012 7:19 PM

    Too bad Saints fans can’t see past their colors, are you kidding me??? We are talking about evidence to convict or not, that has nothing to do with colors dude! I’m having a hard time believing that you guys hate the Saints so much that you don’t even care about your own long range interest. Your team will not be immune from similar tactics by this commissioner in the future. There’s no way the NFL fan base is that ignorant, no way.

  10. korikill says: Jun 21, 2012 7:27 PM

    These whiny crybabies are getting on my nerves.
    TAKE YOUR PUNISHMENT AND SHUT YOUR TRAPS.

  11. efriedo says: Jun 21, 2012 7:38 PM

    I’m willing to bet the sample was from some type of horse species… Get it? Horse… Broncos…Hahaha.

    OK, nevermind

  12. thcnote says: Jun 21, 2012 7:40 PM

    jason1980 says:
    Jun 21, 2012 7:19 PM
    Too bad Saints fans can’t see past their colors, are you kidding me??? We are talking about evidence to convict or not, that has nothing to do with colors dude! I’m having a hard time believing that you guys hate the Saints so much that you don’t even care about your own long range interest. Your team will not be immune from similar tactics by this commissioner in the future. There’s no way the NFL fan base is that ignorant, no way.
    ———-
    Got news for you bro. You are the one who is ignorant for thinking that there weren’t payouts for knocking a player out of the game. I don’t hate the Saints dude but there fans are dense.

  13. senky3 says: Jun 21, 2012 9:21 PM

    i agree, the thing that really amuses me is the saying by the saints fans that they know that this didn’t happen because vilma, vitt etc said it didn’t.

  14. thejuddstir says: Jun 21, 2012 10:06 PM

    When are these players going to realize that Ginsberg hasn’t won a single case against the NFL ??? He’s a lawyer for sure…and we all know what lawyer’s love more than anything…..money. Lawyers spend more time in school learning how to confuse (potential clients) by convincing them that they have a winning case. NFLPA, DJ William, the Williams Wall, Grant, etc. etc. they all spent big-time money on Ginsberg when any average rube could advise them much better. I would only charge them $1Grand each to tell them that “you are not going to beat the NFL”……Vilma’s up next.

  15. jredshoes says: Jun 21, 2012 10:45 PM

    Where exactly does one procure “non human urine?”

  16. atwatercrushesokoye says: Jun 21, 2012 11:16 PM

    I’m with the other Broncos fans, I’m glad this was upheld, Williams broke the rules and deserves the suspension.

    I really hope the Broncos release him, based on this and his multiple DUI arrests he’s a bad guy. Add to that he’s not really that good (although he is extremely overrated amongst some Broncos fans) cut him and move on from another Shanahan mistake.

  17. bigbadal21 says: Jun 21, 2012 11:29 PM

    Vilmas case is much different. He is not sueing to eliminate or reduce his suspension, he is sueing for defamation of character. If Goodell would have claimed that Vilma was suspended for conduct that is one thing. But to claim that he engaged in a program that specifically tried to injure players is grounds for a defamation suit if it is untrue and if Goodell does not have sufficient evidence to prove it. Just my 2 cents.

  18. granadafan says: Jun 22, 2012 12:09 AM

    Williams has just been blackballed. First he does unthinkably stupid thing by submitting animal urine then sues the NFL. No surprise that he’s from the U.

  19. maximusprime107 says: Jun 22, 2012 2:57 AM

    I still don’t know why the Broncos continue to put up with this guy. He has another DUI case coming up that will give him yet another suspension. Enough is enough just cut the chord he’s not even that great

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