NFL Teams
ESPN News Services 27d

Supreme Court won't revive Saints fan's lawsuit after non-call

NFL, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints

   NEW ORLEANS -- Louisiana's Supreme Court has refused to revive a New Orleans Saints fan's lawsuit against the NFL over officials' failure to call a penalty in the waning minutes of the NFC Championship Game in January. The court denied a motion to rehear the case without comment Tuesday.

   Attorney and Saints fan Antonio LeMon filed the lawsuit after officials failed to flag Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman for pass interference and an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit on Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis. The Rams outlasted the Saints 26-23 in overtime to advance to the Super Bowl.

   The state Supreme Court ruled against LeMon in September. He at first said he wouldn't appeal, but he said he changed his mind after the Catholic Church cited elements of the NFL decision in a request to dismiss ongoing litigation against church officials over alleged sexual abuse.

    A Louisiana district court judge ordered in July that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and three officials from the game could be questioned under oath. But the league appealed -- and the Saints themselves filed a brief on behalf of the league, suggesting that allowing the lawsuit to proceed would "open the door to countless legal claims."

    The supreme court agreed in its ruling, which stated: "We find public policy considerations weigh in favor of restricting the rights of spectators to bring actions based on the conduct of officials of professional sporting leagues."

ESPN's Mike Triplett contributed to this report.

^ Back to Top ^