Much of Stringer Suit Dismissed

While the most damning and serious charges remain, a judge's ruling on motions from Vikings attorneys in December have dimissed many of the charges filed by the family, leading some of the team's attorneys to believe the case may never actually get to trial.

In a ruling issued Wednesday, the judge overseeing the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Korey Stringer dismissed all but three charges in the lawsuit.

Judge Gary Larson dismissed several of the charges in the suit – siding with the attorneys for the Vikings on every charge challenged in a December hearing. In each case, the Vikings attorneys successfully argued that the charges being made were not allowed under Minnesota law.

Attorneys for the Stringer family say the ruling is not the end of the case and that it hasn't diminished its case. Vikings attorneys disagree, saying that the foundation of the case has been compromised and that it will seek a full dismissal of the case at the next hearing, set for March 4.

The only remaining charges that need to be heard are: 1. That employees of the Vikings (medical/training staff) were grossly negligent in their treatment of Stringer when he suffered heat stroke; 2. As employees of the organization, the Vikings are responsible for their actions and/or negligence; 3. The Vikings organization caused emotional distress to the Stringer family.

If the remaining charges are not dismissed, the case is set to begin June 9.

* Denny Green has apparently turned down a chance for a face-to-face interview for the Lions job and for good reason – he knows he's not the No. 1 candidate. How does he know? His agent, Gary O'Hagen, also represents Steve Mariucci, who has been told by the Lions he's their first choice. Green said he doesn't want to be interviewed simply to let the Lions comply with league mandates about interviewing minority candidates when he knows he's not viewed as a legitimate first-choice candidate.
* As many as 30 current and former Vikings will take part in the Eighth Annual Arctic Blast snowmobile rally at Lake Mille Lacs today through Saturday. The event hopes to raise $50,000 for the Vikings Children's Fund. In the previous seven Arctic Blast events, more than $250,000 has gone to help needy children in the Upper Midwest. Among the current players expected to attend are Gary Anderson, Todd Bouman, Daunte Culpepper, Chris Hovan and Moe Williams. Former Vikings slated to participate include coach Bud Grant and former players Ted Brown, Chris Doleman, Steve Jordan, Tommy Kramer, Bob Lurtsema, Jim Marshall, Darrin Nelson and Dave Osborn. Autograph sessions are planned for both Friday night and Saturday. The rally itself starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. To register or for more information call 952.828.6577. * With salary cap problems and big pay raises anticipated for two starting defensive linemen, the Packers are concerned about losing two starters. Both DE Vonnie Holliday and DT Cletidus Hunt are unrestricted free agents and both may command more money in free agency than the Packers are willing or able to spend.
* The Vikings are expected to announce which players will be allocated to NFL Europe within the next week.
* Former Vikings assistant Monte Kiffin is expected to meet with 49ers officials Friday about their head coaching vacancy, but Bucs sources are telling VU it's unlikely he will leave Tampa Bay,
* The thrill of making the Pro Bowl isn't for the money for most players. Seeing as the average salary in the NFL is about $1 million a year for veteran players, much less Pro Bowl players, the pay for the all-star game isn't much -- $30,000 for the winners and $15,000 for the losers. While that is nice money for the average fan for one week's work, by NFL standards it isn't. A Viking making $1 million was paid $62,500 per game – win or lose.

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