After taking a beating in the courts since the bounty scandal broke, Roger Goodell finally got a victory, albeit a small one.
U.S. District Court Judge Helen Berrigan tossed Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against Goodell on Thursday.
The dismissal is not surprising. Many sports law experts I spoke with throughout the process all agreed it would have been extremely difficult for Vilma to win this lawsuit.
Remember, this was Judge Berrigan -- by all accounts, one of the most liberal judges in Louisiana. If Vilma was going to win; it was going to be in her courtroom. Still the case just wasn't that strong.
Despite the judge's ruling, Vilma came out on top overall. He steadfastly defended himself throughout the whole process. And it worked. He never had to serve a single minute of his season-long suspension and never lost a single game check. Short of his legal fees, Vilma saved his reputation, while Goodell's took a nosedive.
The best thing about Thursday's ruling is that it finally brings closure to what's been the most exhausting, complicated, ambiguous story over the last ten months. I can't imagine anyone is sad to see it go.
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