NEW ORLEANS – On Friday, the the Louisiana Supreme Court dismissed the “No Call” lawsuit. On Monday, the plaintiff responded.
By Antonio Le Mon, Esq., Plaintiffs’ Counsel:
The paramount goal of our lawsuit has always been to get to the TRUTH behind the NOLA “NO CALL” play & restore some integrity to the “game” by bringing attention to the issues and demanding that the NFL clean up its act! We accomplished that goal. However, the Supreme Court ruling last Friday which dismissed our action is disappointing (like “swallowing glass”), especially considering that the reputable Trial Court Judge, and three esteemed Appellate Court Judges, unanimously and emphatically supported our right to move forward with this lawsuit and take the depositions of Commissioner Goodell and three game officials. However, the Supreme Court’s decision, of which we must respect, discloses a disturbing truth.
By this Supreme Court ruling, the only right given to the purchaser of an NFL ticket, at least in Louisiana, is to get a seat in the stadium. Once in that seat, the NFL has a license to do whatever it wants to us little ticket-holders, even to commit fraud and deceptive consumer trade practices against us without any civil recourse. The Supreme Court has granted this absolute civil immunity status to the NFL by operation of law without any existing statutory authority or federal or state law that grants the NFL any special treatment or immunity.
Fortunately, prior to the dismissal of our lawsuit, the NFL and Commissioner Goodell were forced to respond to our written discovery by Order of the Trial Court and their sworn responses about the NOLA “No Call” play were both alarming and revealing of a systemic problem in the NFL: Even though the NFL stated that all 7 officials were in their correct positions during the entirety of the “No Call” play, they saw no infractions because: (1) the infractions were neither “easily visible” nor “blatant” in “real time”; and (2) the ball and the Rams cornerback arrived “simultaneously” to the Saints receiver according to the three closest officials! Getting past the NFL’s multitude of objections, the most alarming revelation among the NFL and Commissioner Goodell’s sworn responses was that us little ticketholders should not have any reasonable expectation that their officials will uniformly call penalties when they eyeball-observe player infractions. It is for each of us who have viewed the “No Call” play to decide if the NFL and Commissioner Goodell are being truthful and whether these sworn responses are disturbing.
The Louisiana Supreme Court has now spoken. Consequently we, the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, are ready to move on and respect the ruling of our State’s highest court. Like so many Saints
fans, our positive energy will be focused on supporting our team in its first official game tonight.
Personally, I will devote my energy and focus to my private law practice here in Covington, Louisiana, and continue fighting for justice for each of my clients.
We, each of the four ticketholders in this lawsuit, want to thank those of you who stood by our side throughout this David vs. Goliath battle, supporting our quest for truth, justice and accountability from the NFL and Commissioner Goodell. Surely, we have accomplished the most important goal of our lawsuit— to shine a bright light on the serious integrity issues facing the NFL ranks that are still in dire need of fixing.
We implore Commissioner Goodell, going forward, to treat us with the respect that we deserve as consumers of the NFL product. As the guardian of the “game” that we so love, the NFL should reverently protect the integrity of the “game” and spirit of true competition. Otherwise, the “game” will become a sham. Who wants to “rub their nickels together” to pay these high-priced game tickets if “true competition” has been lost?
Finally, we had hoped that any damages and attorney’s fees recovered in this lawsuit against the NFL would go to the Steve Gleason Foundation fighting ALS. We ask that the NFL consider making a sizeable donation to that Foundation as a form of “good will” to the Saints ticket holders and fans who have suffered because of the NOLA “No Call”. Thank you.
Tony Le Mon, Esq. of the Who Dat Nation!