Judge Denies Reviving Patriots’ “Deflategate” Suit
The Massachusetts Appeals Court denied to revive the so-called “Deflategate” suit brought by a proposed class of New England Patriots fans, seeking damages and injunctive relief against the National Football League, Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft.
The suit stems from the highly controversial accusations against Tom Brady for his alleged role in the scheme to deflate footballs below the PSI range defined by league rules. Commissioner Goodell fined the Patriots $1 million, suspended Brady for four games, and took away two picks in the 2016 draft—a fourth rounder and a first rounder.
As we have previously reported, the “Deflategate” suit was previously brought by Patriots fans claiming that by docking the 29th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft – punishment handed down from the Deflategate hearings – they breached an implied contract with the fans rising to the level of racketeering.
Now, the disgruntled fans’ efforts have been stopped once more, this time on procedural grounds.
In a three-panel decision, the judges explained, “A notice of appeal must be filed ‘within 30 days of the date of the entry of the judgment appealed from.’ In this case, the plaintiffs filed the first appeal April 12, 2017, 44 days after the Feb. 27, 2017 entry of judgment. The plaintiffs argue that their first appeal nonetheless is timely because the post-judgment motion for findings tolled the deadline to file the first appeal. However, certain post-judgment motions (including motions for findings, as was filed here) only toll the appeal period when the motion is made within 10 days of the entry of judgment.”
The plaintiffs missed the 10-day window by one day, leading to the court’s denial.