Judge Dismisses Who ‘Dat’s Mental Anguish Claim Against Goodell, NFL
US District Judge Ginger Berrigan has dismissed a class action lawsuit filed by David Mancina of Mandeville.
Mancina was seeking 5 million dollars in damages from the the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell for "Mental suffering" as a result of the Saints' disappointing 7-9 season.
The suit claims league's bounty investigation, and subsequent suspensions of players, coaches and its general manager directly resulted in the team's sub-par performance, causing emotional stress to Saints season ticket holders.
Berrigan rejected that. She wrote in her ruling, "Rather, that agony has been much more widely felt by the Who Dat Nation."
Mancina's suit claimed he and other ticket holders were due monetary compensation for the diminished value of their tickets, and their "personal emotional reaction to the unwarranted penalties inflicted on their beloved team, players, coaches, and executives."
Judge Berrigan rejected this, saying a season ticket holder is no more subject to emotional stress from this unprecedented situation than any other fan.
"First, as this court has previously stated, even if the process surrounding 'Bountygate' was initially procedurally flawed, it resulted in a revised discipline accepted by those involved based on the finding that 'conduct detrimental' to the game of football had occurred. In addition, the only distinction between a ticket holder who is a fan and a ticketless fan is the ticket holder's right to entry and seating at the game granted by the license."
- US District Judge Ginger Berrigan
Berrigan presided over lawsuits that Saints players filed against Goodell and the league over their suspensions. She repeatedly declined to rule in the case, pushing the litigants to reach an out of court settlement. The case was ultimately decided by an independant panel and the player suspensions were overturned. The coaches and general manager served their punishments.
Berrigan dismissed Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against Goodell in January.
Mancina's attorney maintains the suit wasn't a publicity stunt.