NFLPA, Vilma lawsuit conference set for July 23
A settlement conference to consolidate cases filed by the NFL Players Association and suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma is set for July 23, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
According to the reports, the sides are not likely to reach a settlement agreement at the hearings.
The NFL Players Association filed a lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of three players suspended in connection with the league's bounty investigation.
Vilma is suing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and asked a judge to overturn his year-long suspension. Goodell then filed a motion to dismiss defamation claims that Vilma made in his first lawsuit against Goodell in May.
"Jonathan's defamation lawsuit focuses exclusively on statements Mr. Goodell has made publicly and outside the confines of the CBA," Vilma's attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said in an email. "Mr. Goodell cannot escape responsibility for those public statements based on an argument that statements in a different forum and in a different context might have avoided judicial scrutiny. Mr. Goodell, like all citizens, must abide by certain standards and laws. Having the title of 'Commissioner' does not provide Mr. Goodell with a license to make the accusations and allegations he has made against Jonathan in public forums without facing the same scrutiny as other citizens."