The no-call in last season’s NFC Championship game made pretty much every New Orleans Saints fan on the planet both sad and deeply angry. Some of those fans got so angry that they filed lawsuits against the NFL to have the game replayed. While those failed, there’s still another no-call lawsuit brewing in the Louisiana Supreme Court — but the Saints aren’t on board. In fact, they want it to go away.
New Orleans TV station WWL reported on Thursday that the Saints have filed a brief that supports the NFL in its quest to have this lawsuit dismissed. From the Saints’ brief, via WWL:
"The Saints appreciate that those fans are willing to take up what they may perceive to be the Saints' cause. But taking up such a cause in this form, in the courts, is not warranted, and is not in the Saints' interests."
The suit, which was filed against the NFL in February by lawyer and Saints superfan Tony LeMon, alleges fraud, unjust enrichment, and "detrimental reliance," which is a term commonly used for forcing a party to perform their obligations under a contract. LeMon is seeking under $75,000 in damages, an amount that’s low enough to keep the suit in state court — where many disappointed Saints fans live and work.
LeMon has already had a victory in this suit. Last month, a judge ordered that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and three officials from that infamous NFC Championship game be questioned under oath about the no-call that helped the Los Angeles Rams beat the Saints and go on to play (and lose) in the Super Bowl.
The NFL, which has been trying and failing to have the suit dismissed, is specifically appealing the decision to have Goodell and other referees give depositions. NFL attorney Glad Jones (presumably his real name) filed the brief, in which he argued that the success of a suit like this one could have major ramifications, and lead to angry fans suing sports teams all over the country.
“Such an outcome will be to the detriment of Louisiana sports teams at all levels, to their fans, and, more crucially, to the efficient functioning of the judiciary, which will soon find itself mired in disputes that it lacks the time or expertise to resolve.”
The Saints’ brief echoes this point, and argues that the suit is not needed since there is already a way for rule changes to happen in the NFL — in fact, NFL owners voted over the offseason to make pass interference calls reviewable going forward, which is what the no-call was all about.
“While the Saints, too, were disappointed and frustrated by the result of the NFC Championship Game, the Saints agree with the [NFL] that this is a slippery slope that the Louisiana court should not go down. An appropriate administrative process exists to effect change, and the Saints, along with the other member clubs, utilized that process.”
If LeMon wins the suit and receives damages, he has said he will donate the money to charity.
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