Vilma's defamation suit against Goodell dismissed

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 17, 2013 at 6:10 pm •  Published: January 17, 2013

Peter Ginsberg, a lawyer for Vilma, wrote in an email: "We are obviously disappointed, strongly believe that the CBA does not give anyone — including a commissioner — a license to misrepresent and to manufacture facts, especially at the expense of another person's reputation — and are considering our options."

Berrigan wrote that "Vilma maintains that Goodell is responsible for the allegedly offending statements in his individual capacity." The judge rejected that as "unpersuasive," saying: "The Court finds that all of the allegedly offensive statements were made by Goodell as Commissioner of the NFL in conjunction with the investigation resulting in the now well-known discipline against Vilma and others associated with the Saints."

Vilma's lawsuit pointed to six statements made by Goodell — including in NFL news releases, memos to the league's 32 teams, and an interview with the NFL Network.

"While the Court is extremely disturbed by the fundamental lack of due process in Goodell's denying the players the identities of and the right to confront their accusers, that was substantially rectified later in the process," Berrigan wrote. "So while the process was initially procedurally flawed, the statements were ultimately found to have enough support to defeat the defamation claims."


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