Monday, July 8, 2013
Suit naming Williams seems a stretch
By Paul Kuharsky
It can’t be a real surprise to the lawyers involved, or to the league, that Gregg Williams is now one of the targets of a lawsuit that seeks restitution for an injury that allegedly was suffered as a result of a bounty.
Maybe the case has merits.
I’m no lawyer. I am a person who stands firmly against too much litigation and excuse seeking, and my initial reaction to this report is that it sounds like a pretty convoluted case.
It has not been proven that Williams, now senior assistant/defense for the Tennessee Titans, had a pay-for-injury program while he was defensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins.
Even if such a program existed, this is a player on the Giants defense (linebacker Barrett Green) who was hurt by a player on the Redskins offense (tight end Robert Royal).
From the report:
The lawsuit says Royal "intentionally lowered his helmet and dove into" Green's knees "at full speed." Green had to be helped off the field, and the lawsuit claims the alleged bounty program would have rewarded the hit as "either a 'knockout' or a 'cart off.' "
Even though Royal lined up as a tight end on the play, which happened in the third quarter, the lawsuit says he also played defense occasionally and therefore would have been coached by Williams.
Add in that Green had missed time earlier that season with an injury to the same knee and doesn’t it begin to sound a bit farfetched?
I feel certain lawyers will earn thousands of dollars sorting through it to get us where it’s going.
At the NFC North blog Kevin Seifert circles this back to Brett Favre and the quarterback's disinterest in pursuing a case.
"Frankly, I'm surprised there haven't been more individual lawsuits filed since the bounty story ended," Seifert writes. "A bounty by definition is an intent to injure. NFL players sign up for a violent work environment, but not one in which they are specifically targeted for injury."
I agree with that. If someone is going to make a strong case and set a precedent others could pick up on, however, he'd likely have an easier time if he was hurt playing offense.