Judge Berrigan takes no action in bounty cases

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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.

15 responses to “Judge Berrigan takes no action in bounty cases

  1. More Great news for the Saints. Roger will have a court looking over his shoulder at every turn. He won’t be able to use the I said it so it must be true evidence. He actually will have to show his evidence, and we all know he does not have any.

  2. I’m curious to see how the commish handles this in round two with the sword of a federal judge hanging over his head.

    Will he temper his enthusiasm to project the image that the NFL really cares about injuries and concussions or continue with the CYA charade in the face of the pending lawsuits?

    As always, pop some more corn boys and girls. This could linger for months.

  3. One step forward and one giant step back to right where we started. The commissioner has an opportunity to clean up his mess. Let’s hope he takes it.

  4. Goodell does have too much power, thats a given, but those players are guilty and they need to be punished.

  5. Kind of ridiculous that they went in front of a judge for resolution and the judge decided against taking action “at this time”. What’s the purpose of our judicial system again? Let’s say Goodell decides on Saturday to suspend the players again he would be able to circumvent the legal system and impose a one game suspension on the players. The league has a pretty good idea that the judge will rule in the players favor so at least this way they would still be able to impose a one game suspension on the players and throw the teams game plan out the window in the process. This seems like a stall tactic on the leagues part.

  6. Okay let me get this straight…

    Football is a violent sport and getting more violent with the size and speed of the players.

    The NFLPA and former players are suing the NFL for not protecting players enough in the past and lying about the violence in the sport.

    Football players put a bounty out on other players and try to put them out of games and injure them, like Favre in the playoffs. And it would probably take someone like Favre to sue Vilma and the others to see real change BUT of course Favre would be ostracized by all former and present players for violating the “code” of speaking out; BUT these same players would JOIN Favre the next day and sign their names to any suit he bought against the NFL for not protecting players from severe injuries!!!

    I’m no fan of Goodell or the NFL, but I hope this logic can be used against the NFLPA next time in court when the players bitch about the violence in the game that they seem to claim ignorance about; but pay each other to take out other MEMBERS of the same union!!!

  7. letmesetyoustraight says:Sep 7, 2012 8:54 PM

    I’m curious to see how the commish handles this in round two with the sword of a federal judge hanging over his head.
    Don’t get carried away with your confidence in a Louisiana “federal judge” that has already expressed her bias and prejudice because I am sure Goodell and the NFL are not shaking in their boots. Goodell and the army of NFL lawyers never blinked with any of judge judy’s implied threats as they fully expected what her ruling would be (even though she couldn’t find a legal precedent to support her bias and predetermined opinion……thus she was afraid to issue an order) and they know perfectly well how a real Federal Appeals Court will rule. The NFL never supplied judge judy with any further documentation or evidence as they saw this as nothing more than a speed bump in their journey to the Federal Appeals Court.

  8. Former players of Gregg Williams in Buffalo and Washington have admitted to running a bounty system there. Then there’s the paper trail left by the players. There’s the Gregg Williams audio, which says more than just “Kill the head and the body will die.” He talks about Kyle Williams’ concussion, Crabtree’s ACL, Frank Gore’s head, Alex Smith’s chin, and Patrick Willis’ ankles. And he issued a big apology for everything.

    With all that, how was there not a bounty system? I think you’d pretty delusional to think none of that is tied to a bounty program.

  9. I’ve read the CBA Appeals Panel summary decision. By any objective measure, the Panel’s ruling is a clear and unambiguous victory for Goodell and the league. Granted, the player suspensions were set aside and, as a result, the players now have the opportunity to play this weekend, if not longer. But here’s the bottom line: Goodell CAN suspend the players in this case. Given that the Panel reaffirmed Goodell’s Article 46 exclusive jurisdiction to discipline the players for “conduct detrimental,” if Goodell can in good faith stipulate that none of the suspensions arose out of the undisclosed compensation aspects of the alleged “pay-for-performance/bounty” program, then why can’t Goodell re-impose the suspensions he originally handed down? Also, it’s noteworthy that per Section 8(e) of Article 15, the NFLPA cannot appeal this Appeals Panel ruling.

    On the whole, I continue to believe that this case will not—and should not—settle, and that Goodell and the league will eventually win the war in the Fifth Circuit.

  10. NFL: “Our number one interest is the safety of the players”.

    BTW, we hired Lingerie League replacement refs and are desperate to move to an 18-game schedule.

    But, you know, safety is our number one priority.”

  11. Caught red handed and they use the ” legal system” to defend what outside of the game would be considered criminal. Shame on anyone that thinks the commish isn’t doing what he should. They cheated and worked to intentionally injure other players. This generation is full of garbage! No integrity at all. We’re not talking about a persons ” right” to freakn play football and earn money, we’re talking about men who took pennies compared to what they were earning without conscience to assault people. And that’s crap folks.

  12. Everything will be fine when he imposes the same suspensions for conduct detrimental. I think he did the right thing. The courts will have to void the whole CBA to overrule Goodell.

  13. I hope this judge stays out of it. There is a contract in place. Let the two sides, and now and impartial panel representing two sides has ruled, do their jobs.
    If the judge prevents the suspensions, someone must then question her motivation for stepping in.

    These players had the opportunity to sit in an appeal hearing and hear the evidence and present their case and all of them took the high road. Why? Me thinks they didn’t want to hear directly what the evidence was so they could continue to claim innocent.

    The courts should stay the heck out of this or its another big brother move to further take control of our lives.

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