Louisiana Supreme Court rejects 'no call' lawsuit

New Orleans Saints sued NFL over key play

By SUSAN ROESGEN
Chris Graythen Getty Images

NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans Saints fans' last hope of holding Roger Goodell and the NFL accountable for the disastrous "no call" appears to be dashed by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
 

Who-dats know the play all too well: On January 20, in the Superdome, Los Angeles Rams Cornerback, Nickell Robey -Coleman, head-butted Saints Wide Receiver, Tommy Lee Lewis as he was attempting to catch a pass just yards from the end zone, potentially depriving the Saints of winning the NFC Championship.

The Louisiana Supreme Court overruled a New Orleans Civil District Court ruling earlier this year that allowed a lawsuit to go forward, which alleged conspiracy, fraud, and deceptive trace practices by the NFL against Saints season ticket-holders.

Saints fans salivated at the thought of forcing Commissioner Goodell to make a pubic deposition in the case to explain the NFL's position on the call.

Instead, the Supreme Court ruling means that Goodell and NFL officials at that game do not have to testify about why the referees missed an obvious call of pass interference and unnecessary roughness against the Rams.

In their decision, the Court cited a case from 1945, in which the Court found that, "under Louisiana law, a ticket of admission to a theater or place of public amusement confers on a purchaser thereof a mere license to witness the performance."

In other words, holding Saints season tickets does not entitle a fan to sue for a "breach of contract" regarding the outcome of a game.

The Court also cited another ruling in its decision which would seem to doom any further appeal.

In a case known as "spy gate," a New York Jets season ticket-holder alleged that cheating by the New England Patriots deprived Jets fans of the expectation of "observing an honest match" (Mayer v. Belichick, 2010).

Yet the Jets fans, like Saints fans, came up empty.

The federal court ruled that "it is not the role of judges and juries to be second-guessing the decision taken by a professional sports league purportedly enforcing its own rules."

There has been no public comment yet from Tony LeMon, the local attorney and long-time Saints fan who spearheaded the "no call" lawsuit.

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