Judge rejects Saints fans' legal action to force do-over of NFC championship

Amid the flood of noise protesting the outcome of the Los Angeles Rams’ win over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC championship was a lawsuit by two fans seeking a do-over of the game.

A Louisiana judge settled that legal action Thursday, rejecting the suit in time for the Super Bowl to be played.

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Fans wanted law to force Roger Goodell’s hand

Through their attorney Frank D’Amico Jr., Saints season ticket-holders Tommy Badeaux and Candis Lambert filed a writ of mandamus, an action that allows a judge to order a public official or company head to “perform an act required by law when it has neglected or refused to do so.”

The company head in this scenario is NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The act Badeaux and Lambert sought to compel was the commissioner’s authority to correct something “extraordinarily unfair or outside the accepted tactics in professional football.”

A judge ruled that a missed pass interference call did not warrant legal action. (AP)
A judge ruled that a missed pass interference call did not warrant legal action. (AP)

The “extraordinarily unfair” act in this case is the blown no-call when officials neglected to flag Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman for a blatant pass interference penalty against Saints receiver Tommmylee Lewis at a critical juncture near the end of regulation of the Saints-Rams game.

Fans wanted game to be replayed

The endgame of the suit was to force Goodell to call for a replay of the game from the beginning or from the point of the missed penalty.

The argument included Rico Alvendia, another attorney for Badeaux, holding up a blown-up photo of the missed call in court.

“It doesn’t get any clearer than that, judge,” he said.

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Judge: Law doesn’t cover fans’ legal action

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan rejected that claim in a federal court on Thursday. 

“None of the actions Plaintiffs might seek to compel Commissioner Goodell to do are the kinds of actions a writ of mandamus may address,” Morgan wrote in a 17-page ruling. 

So that’s that.

For this lawsuit, at least.

A class-action suit on behalf of season ticket-holders is still pending. Regardless of the outcome, Saints fans are likely never going to let this one go.

Either the Rams or the New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl on Sunday, and there’s nothing they can do about it.

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