League files grievance against Vilma

Posted July 12, 2012 @ 1:07 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

The NFL filed a grievance against Saints LB Jonathan Vilma in response to his defamation suit against commissioner Roger Goodell.

In the grievance, obtained by CBSSports.com, the league asks an order “compelling the NFLPA and VIlma to withdraw the lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana captioned Vilma v. Goodell. … as well as an award of the NFL’s attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in defending that lawsuit, which has been filed and pursued in violation of Article 3, Section 2 of the CBA.”

In the CBA, signed last August, the NFLPA “agreed that neither it nor any of its members would sue the NFL or any Club with respect to any claim relating to (a) conduct permitted by the CBA of (b) any provision of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws," the league wrote in its grievance.

Goodell suspended Vilma for the year for his alleged role in the Saints’ bounty program, run from 2009-2011. Goodell upheld the suspension following an appeal by Vilma, who has filed a separate suit against the league asking for a temporary restraining order to allow Vilma to continue working.

In a statement to CBSSports.com, the NFL said, “The CBA has a no-suit clause and we needed to file a grievance in order to be able to assert our rights under that clause.”

According to Pro Football Talk, Vilma’s lawyer, Peter Ginsberg,in a letter to Dennis Curran, the NFL's senior vice president of labor litigation and policy, wrote that the grievance “constitutes an improper effort to interfere with a pending judicial matter."