With an internal appeals panel scuttling the bounty suspensions and sending the cases back to square one before Commissioner Roger Goodell, Judge Helen G. Berrigan got what she wanted — she didn’t have to make a ruling.
Judge Berrigan entered an order Friday indicating that she would be issuing no orders, for now.
“IT IS ORDERED that in light of the Collective Bargaining Appeals Panel’s September 7, 2012 decision to vacate Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita, Will Smith, and Anthony Hargrove’s suspensions, the Court will take no action on pending matters at this time,” Judge Berrigan wrote.
The fact that she hasn’t dismissed any of the pending actions means that she’ll retain jurisdiction over not only the efforts to overturn the suspension if/when they are imposed again (and they most likely will be) but also the defamation lawsuit filed by Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma against Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Thus, in time, Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove could be right back before Judge Berrigan.