NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana lawyer suing the NFL over the failure to call a crucial penalty in a January playoff game said Friday he won’t force the New Orleans Saints to comply with a subpoena for records regarding the game.
Antonio LeMon released a letter to team officials saying he and three fellow ticket-holders suing the NFL don’t want the subpoena to distract the Saints organization from the upcoming football season.
“To be clear, plaintiffs do not want to do anything or require absolutely anything of the Saints at this time that may have any negative impact and detract from the focus of the Saints in having its most successful season,” the letter says.
LeMon’s lawsuit against the league alleges fraud and seeks damages in connection with the failure to flag a blatant penalty by a Los Angeles Rams player who made a helmet-to-helmet hit on a Saints receiver with a pass on the way. The lack of a penalty call for pass interference or roughness helped the Rams beat the Saints and advance to the Super Bowl.
The league has asked Louisiana’s Supreme Court to halt the suit, which could result in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell being questioned under oath in September.
The team, despite having been burned by the infamous “Nola no-call,” has joined the league in opposing the lawsuit. Team lawyers filed a brief with the Supreme Court late Wednesday, supporting the league’s effort to halt the suit. The letter also said complying with LeMon’s subpoena — which sought, among other things a database of ticket-holders and any records regarding the disputed play — would be expensive and time consuming for the organization as the team prepares for the 2019 season.