Trending Topics

Jonathan Vilma Issues New Lawsuit Against NFL

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma just will not stop. Now, he is suing the NFL in federal court, claiming NFL commissioner Roger Goodell failed to make a timely appeal ruling regarding Vilma’s season-long suspension in connection with the league’s bounty investigation.

The lawsuit filed Saturday night in U.S. District Court in New Orleans also asks for a temporary restraining order to allow Vilma to continue working if Goodell upholds the suspension.

The suit contends Goodell has undermined “the integrity of the NFL and the Commissioner’s office” by handing down punishments to Vilma and others based on evidence that is either flawed or cannot be substantiated.

It is the second lawsuit Vilma has filed in the matter. The first, filed in May and also in federal court in New Orleans, seeks unspecified damages from Goodell for defamation of character.

In his latest filing, Vilma claims that the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement required Goodell to rule as soon as was practical following a June 18 appeal hearing. Because players, in protest, declined to present new evidence or argue their case in the hearing, Goodell should have been able to rule by June 25, the first business day after the record was closed in the matter, the lawsuit argues.

“We have not yet had an opportunity to review Mr. Vilma’s improper effort to litigate a matter that is committed to a collectively bargained process,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “There is no basis for asking a federal court to substitute its judgment for the procedures agreed upon by the NFL and NFLPA, procedures that have been in place, and have served the game well, for decades.”

In his latest attack of the NFL’s handling of the bounty probe, Vilma contends punished players have only been able to see less than 1 percent of the 18,000 documents the league said it has compiled. His suit also claims that the few key pieces of evidence the league shared are flawed, including printed reproductions of handwritten notes.

“The NFL’s alteration of other documents evidences that the NFL cannot substantiate the suspension, and undermines the integrity of the process,” Vilma’s lawsuit states.

The lawsuit seeks to discredit a key piece of evidence outlining bounty pledges from before the NFC Championship Game against Minnesota in January 2010, and also takes aim at fired assistant coach Mike Cerullo, who, according to Vilma, produced the document for the league.

What people are saying

Leave a Reply

Back to top