No ruling in case involving Williamses

May 14th, 2009 – 1:16 PM by Judd Zulgad

Chip reports U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson did not make a ruling today in the case involving Vikings Pro Bowl defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams and the NFL after two-and-half hours of arguments from both sides in St. Paul. Magnuson did not give a timetable when he will make a decision but said it will be relatively soon. His ruling could end the case or send it to trial on June  15.

The Williamses, along with three players from the New Orleans Saints, were suspended last year for four games after testing positive for the banned diuretic bumetanide, which is contained in the supplement StarCaps and can be used as a masking agent for steroids. Bumetanide was not listed as an ingredient on the StarCaps label and the players argue that the NFL did not properly inform players.

The Williamses were granted an injunction in mid-December, which enabled them to finish the season. The Williamses are seeking $10 million in damages as well as having their suspensions overturned.

The union presented new information today that included a claim the NFL knew about the presence of bumentanide in StarCaps but did not warn players who called into the league’s hotline for such matters. The NFL countered by saying it had followed the guidelines in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and that it warned players not to take supplements. The league’s attorney also noted that none of the five players who were suspended called into the hotline to ask about StarCaps.

Kevin and Pat Williams were both present in the court room. The attorney for the union, Jeffrey Kessler, and Peter Ginsberg, who is representing the Williamses in their case, argued that the league knew about the health risks of bumetanide and did not fully disclose it to the players.

If Magnuson does make a summary judgment and rules in favor of one side it will mean he has decided there are enough key facts in the case that are not in dispute.


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