According to the report, Judge Berrigan “criticized how Goodell disciplined New Orleans Saints players involved in the team’s bounty program, but said the claims made by Vilma did not support his lawsuit.”
“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 said. “So while the process was initially procedurally flawed, the statements were ultimately found to have enough support to defeat the defamation claims.”
Vilma, Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith were all suspended for their roles in the Saints bounty program. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue voided those suspensions, even though he re-affirmed the findings of Goodell’s investigation.