April 16, 2024

Will NFL discipline Michael Bidwill, Cardinals in aftermath of Terry McDonough ruling?

The Cardinals owe former government Terry McDonough $3 million for defamation. Is that the tip, or only the start?

Friday’s 56-page ruling reveals that the workforce attacked McDonough with a false and malicious assertion after he selected to pursue an arbitration declare over the termination of his employment. The Cardinals falsely accused McDonough of abandoning duty for his daughter and reducing her off financially. The Cardinals additionally falsely accused McDonough of “extreme domestic violence.”

For these lies about McDonough, the Cardinals can pay $750,000 in compensatory damages and $2.25 million in punitive damages.

The ruling, whereas absolving the workforce of firing McDonough in retaliation for his reluctance to make use of a burner cellphone to speak with former Cardinals G.M. Steve Keim throughout his suspension for DUI, makes it clear that the Cardinals did certainly use burner telephones to speak with Keim throughout his suspension.

Will these findings immediate discipline of proprietor Michael Bidwill and/or the workforce?

As to the intentional defaming of McDonough, duty for the lies in the end circulate to the Cardinals, who employed the P.R. government who drafted and launched the defamatory assertion. Bidwill owns the Cardinals. His group dedicated an intentional tort towards McDonough, and an arbitrator hand picked by the NFL discovered that the misconduct precipitated $750,000 in precise hurt to McDonough and justified punishment in the quantity of $2.25 million. Basically, the arbitrator discovered that the Cardinals did one thing actually dangerous to McDonough, dangerous sufficient to justify cost of $3 million in conventional litigation damages.

The Personal Conduct Policy relevant to non-players features a checklist of prohibited actions. Two of them probably apply right here. First, the coverage targets “stalking, harassment, or similar forms of intimidation.” Second, the coverage features a catch-all provision concerning “conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of, or public confidence in, the NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL personnel.”

As to the previous, how is telling deliberate lies a few former worker not “harassment, or similar forms of intimidation”? They wished to assault him for submitting his declare, they usually certainly hoped he would simply drop it. As to the latter, this conduct positively impairs the integrity of the NFL, the Cardinals, and Bidwill.

Bidwill’s workforce, when confronted with a former worker who determined to pursue his authorized rights via the league’s inside arbitration course of, went on the assault. Bidwill’s workforce wished to make McDonough look dangerous. Bidwill’s workforce lied about McDonough in order to make him look dangerous. The arbitrator determined that the lies justify a $3 million cost.

It can be simple (and predictable, given the league’s propensity to make use of a double commonplace) to say that Bidwill has been punished by the award of punitive damages. However, that’s not punishment below the Personal Conduct Policy. It’s punishment by way of the league’s secret, rigged, kangaroo approximation of an precise court docket system, which possible would have resulted in a verdict a lot larger than $3 million below these identical info.

If a participant engages in private conduct that requires the participant to pay $750,000 in compensatory damages and $2.25 million in punitive damages, that may get the league’s consideration. If the participant’s conduct was focused at a co-worker, that may make punishment by the league much more possible.

Here, Bidwill’s workforce — and, in the end, Bidwill — intentionally, falsely, and maliciously attacked McDonough, just because he had the nerve to pursue a authorized declare that he moderately believed to be legitimate. How does that not set off punishment of Bidwill below the Personal Conduct Policy?

The burner telephones are a separate problem. The Cardinals clearly violated the phrases of Keim’s suspension, a suspension that certainly was the outcome of dialog and in the end settlement with the league. How does that not require a full-blown, Mary Jo White-style investigation, adopted by correct punishment for the deliberate circumvention of the suspension?

We’ll see what the league does, or doesn’t do, about these points. If the league takes no motion towards Bidwill, it re-confirms the existence of two requirements relating to private conduct, one for gamers and one for house owners. If the league takes no motion for the violation of Keim’s suspension by way of burner telephones, it re-confirms that the league has inconsistent requirements relating to imposing discipline on groups that break the principles, with some getting hammered and a few getting a cross.