A Louisiana judge ruled Thursday that a damage lawsuit can continue against the NFL over the playoff “no-call” that helped the Los Angeles Rams beat the New Orleans Saints and advance to the Super Bowl this past season.
State Civil District Court Justice Nicole Sheppard also ruled that lawyer Antonio (Tony) LeMon can request documents and ask questions of NFL officials. LeMon said that means he will be able to question commissioner Roger Goodell and three game officials in depositions about the lack of a penalty – pass interference or roughness – against Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman for his helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver Tommylee Lewis well before a pass arrived. The play came during a crucial point in January’s NFC title game.
Lawyers representing the NFL in the case didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed requests for comment. LeMon said he was informed Thursday that NFL representatives, whose bid to stop the suit was rejected, would seek relief at a state appeal court.
LeMon says money isn’t the object of the February suit he and three others filed, which alleges fraud by NFL officials. It seeks only US$75,000, which LeMon said would go to charity.
“The purpose of the lawsuit is not to get some minuscule amount of money. They won’t even notice that,” LeMon said. “It’s to get at the truth.”
Other suits dealing with the blown call have wound up in federal court, where they have failed. They included one long-shot effort to have the game or a crucial part of it played over before the Rams met the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, which the Patriots won.