Vilma notifies judge in defamation suit of coming request for injunction

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The effort to attack Commissioner Goodell’s ruling on the bounty appeals apparently has begun even before the ruling has been made.

According to WWL-TV, lawyer Peter Ginsberg filed on Wednesday a notice in the Vilma’s pending defamation case against Commissioner Roger Goodell that Vilma will be requesting an injunction blocking Vilma’s suspension if/when Goodell fails to lift Vilma’s one-year ban.

“Mr. Vilma intends to seek injunctive relief in a separate action filed in this District which we believe would be considered a related case and assigned to your Honor,” the notice to Judge Helen G. Berrigan states.  “Since such an action would require immediate review, we are simply writing in advance to advise the Court and all known interested parties of our anticipated actions.”

The move suggests a couple of things.  First, Vilma and Ginsberg are happy with the assignment of the defamation claim to Judge Berrigan, and they hope to finagle the assignment of the lawsuit attacking the suspension to Judge Berrigan.  Second, the other three suspended players (Saints defensive end Will Smith, Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove, and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita) may join in the same action, hoping to ride Vilma’s coattails to Judge Berrigan’s courtroom.  Third, the request for injunctive relief likely will include a motion for a “preliminary injunction,” which if granted will block the league from suspending the players until the litigation is resolved.

Fourth, Vilma is getting impatient.  “He must’ve gone on vacation,” Vilma said Wednesday on Twitter, an apparent slap at Goodell’s ongoing failure to rule on the bounty appeals.

It’s not known when the rulings will be issued.  When they are, Vilma — and likely the rest of the suspended players — will be taking action.

43 responses to “Vilma notifies judge in defamation suit of coming request for injunction

  1. I see this becoming another situation like the one with the Vikes/Saints steroid claim a few years ago. By the time the penalty was actually enforced most of the players were durn near out of the league anyway.

  2. Ever since the lockout provided us all with innumerable articles concerning courts, judges, CBAs and all related nonsense…I’ve grown quite tired of it all.

    The sooner Week 1 comes, the better. Let’s get this party started already!


  3. yes, come back and play. take those aints* down further. anything that even resembles an unnecessary roughness penalty will get called often and gut your team and kill your case. very smart.

  4. I would like to see Goodell replaced as league commissioner and fined several million dollars for defamation. My opinion. I would also like to see the old NFL return. Only “legal” hits but not ballet for boys. Those guys know what they got into.

  5. Just when you think things could get not more bizarre, another volley from the suspended players. There is no way Goodell saw any of this coming. This has to be the worst handled incdent by any major sports commissioner. Kudos, Roger.

    Pass the popcorn please.

  6. I’m sure it’s prohibited by the CBA but I think it would be great if Goodell waited until the day after the Saints season ended to give his ruling, let all of these idiots sit in a state of limbo for the entire year.

  7. I’m all for Vilma, Fujita, Vitt, and anybody in particular holding Goodell’s feet to the fire publicly. But I don’t see how a judge can intervene in something that was collectively bargained.

    If Goodell is guilty of defamation, and judging by the lack of evidence combined with Goodell’s smear campaign he very well could be, then he can be held accountable for damages in a court of law like anybody else. But I fail to see how a judge can force him to overturn the suspensions.

  8. Good…I hope all NFL fans will welcome this possible opportunity to finally get a look at whatever “evidence” the league actually possesses, not just the edited to PowerPoint versions trotted out thus far.

  9. EAGLES FAN….really?! not much going on in philly?….come to think of it….theres a lotta
    NON- SAINTS FANS that got a lot to say… oh my bad forgot that reguardless of if it’s :
    the GOOD the BAD or the UGLY….. you still cant turn away oh yeah glad to see that you follow the SAINTS more than your own team …..
    keep the comments coming. and dont be afraid to tell us who your team is so we can pay proper respect to your team…………..NOT!


  10. I love it. Goodell wants to play rough with NFL linebackers. Let’s hope he can take it as well as he dishes it out. He left them with no option based on his false public accusations. Three year program to intentionally injure other players for pay? Yeah right. Exaggerate and fabricate evidence to support his hidden agenda.

  11. Vilma is standing up to Der Kommissar, and suddenly he’s an idiot?

    Laughable. Predictable. But laughable.

  12. I bet this month rent that Goodell makes his ruling as soon as the first pick in tomorrow draft is selection. That way it gets over shadow, because had he did it earlier it would have been all that had been talked about in the slow sports week.

  13. Vilma proves he only makes legal hits. He saved his hardest legal hit ever on someone who truely deserves it. Wham, take some of your own medicine commish. Don’t spout off false claims to the public unless you can back it up. Wham, take your punishment for your poor judgement.

  14. I hope Vilma wins. With that said, go check Ira’s article on the Heat’s perspective on prospect’s injuries. His writing sucks.

  15. The duration of the suspensions for the players are absurd. Donte Stallworth actually killed a man and was suspended for a year. Vick was only suspended for 3 weeks fr killing dogs and yeah I know he was suspended while he was in jail but lets be real he wasn’t gonna be playing football anyways. Look at some of the other suspensions that Goodell has handed out they don;t follow any rhyme or reason. Rothelisburger got four weeks for raping teenage girls. Yeah he wasn’t convicted but come on be real if it was your daughter that he did it too it would be rape. Reduce it to one game suspensions and forfeiture of 3 games pay and the message is sent and I’m sure everyone walks away from this the longer it goes on the longer Goodell and the league look foolish.

  16. I personally hate the idea that a public court can intervene into a private business’s affairs.

    What’s next? An injunction when a player gets cut? Because there was not enough evidence that the other players were better?

    Play by the rules you agreed to….how about that?

  17. @ncarolinarn7 Do you mean all those tough guys that are now suing the league for all those hard hits back in the day? Yeah, sure bring back the good old days.

  18. Most people who review the evidence, such as most of the journalists here at pft, seem to think there is little to no evidence concerning bounties. There is some evidence of a pay for play system though. So, I remain of the opinion that the real issue the nfl and goodell have is that the saints were technically circumventing the salary cap. That is against the rules too, but no where near as serious. Never forget that everything like this that the nfl does – players, owners or commissioner – is always about money.

  19. Players agreed to the CBA with Goodell being the final say on such matters. You made your bed, now lie in it.

    Can’t accept the punishment for what you did even after being told to stop though, so why not sue? Players want to be looked upon as men and yet many act like little children – not accepting the consequences of their own actions and appealing to the other parent to overturn the punishment of the one who caught you.

  20. The only person winning in this situation is Vilma’s lawyer.. keep the lawsuits coming boys.. i need a new yacht.

  21. In no possible way, shape, or form can Vilma prove Goodell defamed him. Not within the letter of the law. Not even close.

    In reality, the judge should dismiss this case.

  22. ascensionparish says:
    Jun 27, 2012 11:59 PM
    Vilma is standing up to Der Kommissar, and suddenly he’s an idiot?


    Not suddenly, it’s ongoing. Why would you hire a lawyer who is in the middle of a 5 year suspension in Florida to be your mouthpiece? Ginsberg needs the money worse than Vilma.

    The appeals court affirmed the $371,517 monetary sanction imposed by the judge whom Ginsberg attempted to oust and upheld the judge’s suspension of Ginsberg’s license to practice for five years in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. The district extends from the Georgia border to Florida’s southwest coast and includes Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa, Fla.

    The appeals panel found that “Ginsberg was extremely difficult to deal with and disrespectful to the court,” and that “he refused to answer the court’s questions, treated the court as an adversary and continually made inflammatory statements.”

    Ginsberg difficult to deal with? I’m shocked. How did DeSmith miss the opportunity to add him to the NFLPA?

  23. eyeh8goodell says: Jun 27, 2012 11:50 PM

    I’m all for Vilma, Fujita, Vitt, and anybody in particular holding Goodell’s feet to the fire publicly. But I don’t see how a judge can intervene in something that was collectively bargained.

    If Goodell is guilty of defamation, and judging by the lack of evidence combined with Goodell’s smear campaign he very well could be, then he can be held accountable for damages in a court of law like anybody else. But I fail to see how a judge can force him to overturn the suspensions.
    First of all, as I have been saying for months, a CBA does not supersede the U.S. Constitution. If a party to a collectively bargained agreement acts in bad faith or commits fraud, aggrieved parties can still seek remedy in federal court.

    Second, I contend that Vilma and his lawyer do not actually expect to win the defamation suit. I believe they are hoping that as part of the suit, a federal judge will rule that Goodell must turn over ALL of his evidence – such as it is – to Ginsberg for his review and challenge. At that point, even if the lawsuit is dismissed, if the evidence is weak or trumped up by unreliable witnesses, Ginsberg will have what he needs to embarrass Goodelll into reducing or eliminating the suspension.

  24. Vilma’s selfish and unwarranted actions are going to change football forever…..and not for the better. Soon it will be the legal system that makes every decision in the NFL and Congress will stick their nose into it and ultimately repeal the Sherman Anti-Trust protection that was granted to the NFL. We all know what politicians do to our lives, citys, states, etc. and now we’ll have them involved in football. It’s time for the media (that includes you Florio) to quit treating bountygate as if it were a first degree murder case. This nonsense needs to end.

  25. Vilma and Ginsberg are milking their 15 minutes of fame to the extreme. I feel sorry for the Saints fans that will be the butt end of of every joke about how to win by cheating.

  26. “But I fail to see how a judge can force him to overturn the suspensions.”

    A judge probably won’t overturn the suspensions but he/she might grant an injunction, which would allow Vilma to play until a ruling is made. Judging by last season, Vilma probably only has one mediocre year left. His best years are long behind him and he’s a longshot to make the Saints’ roster this season. I’m surprised they haven’t released him already. His best shot would be to be released early and find a spot on a team that will value his experience more than his play.

  27. Definitely feel Eli, Stafford, and Darren Sproles should have all been higher! Peyton should NOT have been on the list because he DID NOT PLAY in 2012! Yes, that showed that he WAS the MVP of the Colts since they TOTALLY fell apart without him, but he cannot be a Top 100 player when he didn’t play. Totally agree with Rodgers @ 1 because not only is he a great QB/leader, their D was not very good, so he had to cover there deficiencies. Also, someone said Calvin didn’t deserve to be up there because all he had to do was “catch balls”! He should try doing that while being double AND triple teamed all year long, having to break free and make miraculous moves to catch the ball! He was much of Staffords success, not only because of his catches, but how he opened up other receivers drawing coverage!

  28. Man, Roger has been awefully quiet lately. I wonder why? Could someone be a little nervous of saying the wrong things, yet again? 2 months ago he was quick to talk and point fingers…Just saying.

  29. The Louisianna court lacks jurisdiction to address the validity of Vilma’s suspension — that’s adressed in the CBA and has been ruled on once by the arbitrator. There sure as hell isn’t jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief on the suspension in the defamation action. Who the hell is this guy’s attorney — Daffy Duck?

  30. I think what Vilma and his lawyer are attempting to do is this: If they can prove defamation, “Vilma offered $10,000 for a bounty” then the suspension should be lifted. If the commissioner’s claim of Vilma offering a bounty is proven to be inaccurate in the defamation case, then the commissioner would have no grounds for a suspension. But without the court intervening Goodell could still keep Vilma suspended even if Goodell lost the defamation case. They are not tied to one another, if the injunction is granted, they would be.

    I know most fans think that NFLPA agreed to allow Goodell to be a judge, jury and executioner and that the Saints should just deal with it. But as the league and the commissioner showed when they kneecapped the Redskins and Cowboys for non existent cap violations, they are not above abuse of power. Penalizing teams even though they did not break any rules, and suspending coaches and players for entire seasons without turning over any real evidence of what they did wrong? Nobody has a problem with that? I guess if you are a fan of one of the other 29 teams you might not. What if it comes out that Vilma never did offer up the $10,000? What will people be saying then? That he still should have shut up and taken the penalty because Goodell has all the power? If it’s one person’s accusation that has not been collaborated by another witness or other evidence, then that is not enough to suspend him. If they have all of the evidence that they claim to have then I guess it will be produced in the defamation proceedings.

  31. folksaredumb says: Jun 27, 2012 11:27 PM

    Aren’t you getting tired of losing, Villy? Also, you should probably conserve your money seeing as though you won’t be making any this season.


    well, folks, i guess the posters are dumb too. did you not hear, vilma restructured his contract before the punishment came down so that he got his 2 mil as a signing bonus? so much for not making any money this season.

  32. camiller85 says: Jun 28, 2012 12:16 AM

    I bet this month rent that Goodell makes his ruling as soon as the first pick in tomorrow draft is selection
    Dude, do you speak any English?

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