Roger Goodell files request for dismissal of Jonathan Vilma’s defamation lawsuit
Earlier, Jonathan Vilma filed a defamation lawsuit against Roger Goodell, claiming his suspension due to his alleged role in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program was without merit. Furthermore, Jonathan Vilma asserted that in making questionable remarks about him in public, Roger Goodell had tarnished his reputation and posed a threat on his ability to earn a living, whether in the NFL or through endorsement deals.
Roger Goodell had been given until Thursday to post a reply to Jonathan Vilma’s defamation claims at the Louisiana District Court. Hence, Roger Goodell filed a motion right in the nick of time that dismissed Jonathan Vilma’s defamation allegations, contesting that the lawsuit “fails adequately to plead ‘actual malice’ or ‘outrageous’ conduct, required elements of the claims assertion.”
Court documents cited that Roger Goodell contested every single one of Jonathan Vilma’s allegations were "relating to and emanating from Commissioner Goodell's imposition of discipline for conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football.”
It generally relates that Jonathan Vilma’s allegations cannot stand against Roger Goodell owing the ultimate authority the commissioner maintains in hearing the appeals and thus handing down suspensions based on his judgment according to the NFL’s personal-conduct policy under the new CBA.
Roger Goodell attached 715 pages evidence and supporting material out of which 317 pages constituted for the CBA itself, while 273 pages accounted for the it’s “constitution and bylaws.”
The CBA has been Roger Goodell’s safety net behind the bounty gate suspensions as the Commissioner contested in his motion that Jonathan Vilma’s allegations “represent an improper attempt to circumvent the mandatory and binding dispute resolution procedures required by the NFL CBA.”
Roger Goodell also claimed that Jonathan Vilma’s defamation lawsuit would be subject to a Louisiana law that favors the Commissioner in making the public statements regarding the linebacker’s role in the bounty program as it is subjective to the general public’s interest.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Vilma bought further modifications in his lawsuit, asking Judge Helen Berringer to overrule his suspension and hand him an injunction. This motion will provide Jonathan Vilma with an opportunity to continue playing through the season until the case arrives at a final decision. Jonathan Vilma is in a hurry to get that injunction as he doesn’t want waste further time and aims to carry on the rehab at the New Orleans Saints facility after sustaining a knee injury.
Jonathan Vilma’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg gave a statement in an email soon afterwards, saying: “We look forward to the time when the legal maneuverings end and we can finally address the merits of the Commissioner’s public – and erroneous – accusation against Jonathan.”
Peter Ginsberg asked for a “transparent and open airing of the serious bounty allegations imposed by roger Goodell on Jonathan Vilma.
Roger Goodell was granted a 1 August hearing on filing for an oral argument regarding the dismissal of the defamation lawsuit.