Saturday, 03 March 2012 23:02

Lawsuits In New Orleans Saints Scandal Could Be Bounty-Full

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giants3One of the most interesting repercussions of the most recent scandal “BountyGate”, is determing which New Orleans Saints defender hit for the bounty, who got wallopped  and what might be the ultimate consequences.  One consequence to consider are the lawsuits arising out of this nightmare. 

There have been claims that the Saints just might have targeted players such as Brett Favre in the NFL Championship game.

 Now, some are questioning whether the Saints went after the now-champions New York Giants back in their 2011 match, the night that the Saints smashed or shall we say, embarrassed  the current World Champions  on national television.  Some Giants were injured during the game.  The question is whether they were "Bountied".   Here's one opinion:

Going back to week 12 against the New York Giants, there were several instances of potentially dirty football. Two brutal hits on wide receiver Hakeem stands out; one of those resulted in a personal foul penalty on safety Isa Abdul-Quddus after he went helmet-to-helmet. Following the play, and even as the penalty was called, the Saints defense excessively celebrated the hit.

A second shot on Nicks was taken by Saints cornerback Tracy Porter, and that one happened well out of bounds. Not only was he penalized, he was later fined $7,500 by the NFL.

In hindsight, it does seem like Nicks had a target on his back that game.

But the dirty play didn't end there. In addition to the Abdul-Quddus and Portis hits, defensive end Will Smith was called for roughing the passer after blatantly hitting Eli Manning late, while Roman Harper was later flagged for unnecessary roughness in the fourth quarter.

Victor Cruz also got dinged up that game, and appeared on the injury report the following week with a hip injury. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Osi Umenyiora re-injured his knee and Mark Herzlich suffered a broken ankle.

There's no telling if any of these hits or injuries were a direct result of Williams' bounty program, but it certainly makes you wonder…

Perhaps worse for the Saints could be potential lawsuits against the New Orleans Saints and against the individual players and coaches involved in the operation, including those involved in what some might be calling a “conspiracy” of sorts to cause an impact or trip to the sidelines or a ride on the cart to the tunnel for the game.

The questions become: Which players were targeted? Which players were hurt by the Saints defense due to the cash incentives?  How badly was any player who decides to sue, hurt?  Can the players or players associate the bounty-hits with the injuries?

Much ado about nothing?

Well check out this tweet from ‏ Pat Kirwan of CBS.  @PatKirwanCBS 

“There could be lawsuits to follow by players injured in games against the Saints during the 2009-11 seasons.Lawers have been texting me”

Here are some of the tweets following Kirwan’s own:

21hJustin Pace ‏ @jpace16

@PatKirwanCBS Did one of those lawyers happen to be Jackie Chiles? #AlrightAlright

21hCraig Buckser ‏ @cbuckser

· Details

@PatKirwanCBS @bruce_arthur Good luck to those lawyers in their efforts to prove causation.

21hBruce Toombs ‏ @CrucesViking

@PatKirwanCBS if Greg Williams knew about this and did nothing he lost all credibility as a coach.

21hMarlon C Taylor ‏ @MarlonCTaylor

@PatKirwanCBS you have got to be kidding!!! This is unbeleivable! Buddy Ryan must be rolling over right now!

21hJ. Cougar CrazyPants ‏ @TheCoooog

· Details

@PatKirwanCBS GOOD!!

Already, there has been an Internet-full of discussion so far about the amount of fines and penalties lodged against the coaches, players and the team. 

However, depending upon the evidence, the mega-bucks just might be those lawsuits that everyone seems to complain about until there are the plaintiffs.

Lawsuits?  Players suing players, coaches, teams, cheerleaders and so on?

Well, if the Saints defense went on an attack after various players and if  lawsuits now were to follow, just think about all that money flowing through the courts from within the many states.

And, if you think that a legal mudfight will simply mean the insurance companies will be sacked, think again.

 The insurers might just punt and claim there is no coverage for these types of activities.

Or, it just might depend upon what insurance companies and coverages we are discussing;  Could even depend upon which states are involved as court venues.

Yep, You’ve got it.  A NFL free-for-all which just might not be so free to those involved.

Many insurance policies disallow the insurance companies for “intentional torts”--meaning someone intending to harm someone else .   Laws of various states have upheld “no coverage” in courts when the tortfeaser (insured) turns to his friendly neighbor insurer and says “cover me”.

Thus, depending upon the hit, the motivation of the attacker, the injury, the insurance policy, the state and even depending upon whether the players actually took the cash in exchange for the hit, we could see some players being walloped (financially),  much more than they were ever creamed by their opponents on the gridiron.

Which really could open up some football can of worms spread out from field to field.

For one, some states allow punitive damages, which can really add up in bucks, for certain intentional acts by the wrongdoer.  The "puni’s" are often three-times more than the compensatory damages.

Perhaps worse for the NFL are the possibilities that other teams have engaged or have engaged in similar type of practices for years. 

Some of those complaining the loudest just might not have such clean jerseys or hands.

One such team that could feel the scrutiny, even if they are now not complaining, could be the Washington Redskins, former team of ex-Saint and bounty-ringmaster, coach Greg Williams.

In fact, former safety and Washington Redskin, Matt Bowen has written , "Bounties, cheap shots, whatever you want to call them, they are a part of this game. It is an ugly tradition that was exposed Friday with Williams front and center from his time coaching the defense in New Orleans. But don't peg this on him alone. You will find it in plenty of NFL cities.  

Win or else. That's the drill.”

If so, some of these players their lawyers just might be doing some deep drilling all around the NFL turfs for many seasons to come.

stephen-sabludowskyby Stephen Sabludowsky, Attorney and Publishers of

(Visit Louisiana Sports and check out the spring clearance sale on LSU, Saints jerseys).


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