Crime & Justice

Judge throws out Tom Brady's 4-game suspension over 'Deflategate'

New England Patriots' Tom Brady warms up before a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 28.
New England Patriots' Tom Brady warms up before a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 28.
Bob Leverone/AP

A federal judge has thrown out Tom Brady's four-game suspension over his role in "deflate-gate."

The suspension was handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after attorney Ted Wells found that employees of the New England Patriots deflated footballs to make them easier to grip. Goodell said Brady likely knew about the scheme.

Brady appealed Goodell's decision in federal court and, today, he prevailed.

In a 40-page decision, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman did not take issue with the facts of the case, instead he took issue with what he said were "several significant legal deficiencies," including giving "inadequate notice of Brady of both his potential discipline... and his alleged misconduct."

Berman also found that the NFL also denied Brady the opportunity to "examine one of two lead investigators" and was denied access to "access to investigative files, including witness interview notes."

The interview notes were fundamental to the Wells report, the judge wrote, so denying Brady access to them was "fundamentally unfair" and "Brady was prejudiced as a result."

In an apparent response to the judge's decision, the Patriots tweeted:

https://twitter.com/Patriots/status/639445470230614018

The Associated Press reports:

"Berman's ruling does not necessarily end the dispute. The league can appeal. Neither side's top lawyer immediately responded to an email seeking comment."

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