By Mary Cunningham
Chalk this up to a decision the dark.
A Louisiana judge allowed a lawsuit against the NFL seeking damages over the errant pass interference no-call late in the NFC Championship game in January.
According to Kevin McGill of the Associated Press, Louisiana Civil District Court Judge Nicole Sheppard also ruled that attorneys for the plaintiffs can request documents from the NFL and and question league officials, including Commissioner Roger Goodell and members of the officiating crew that worked the game.
“The purpose of the lawsuit is not to get some minuscule amount of money. They won’t even notice that,” plaintiff attorney Antonio LeMon said. “It’s to get at the truth.”
Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman obliterated Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before Drew Brees‘ pass had reached its intended target. However, no flag was thrown on the play and the Saints were forced to kick a 31-yard field goal instead of getting a fresh set of downs at the Rams 6-yard line with less than two minutes to play. There was ultimately enough time remaining for the Rams to drive for a tying field goal that forced overtime, where the Rams won to advance to the Super Bowl.
The case is seeking only $75,000 in damages, which keeps it below a threshold that would risk the case being moved to a federal court. LeMon said any funds awarded would be donated to charity as they are seeking information from the league about how the incident was handled and if officials were disciplined.
“I want their personnel files. I want their gradings. I want their notes from the game,” he said.
LeMon said the NFL informed them of their intent to appeal the ruling.
A prior lawsuit attempting to levy an injunction against the NFL to force the game be replayed from the point of the missed call ahead of the Super Bowl was nixed by a federal judge in January.