31 January 2019

NFL says Saints ticket holders lack standing in playoff loss lawsuit


Michael A. Rueda
Partner | Head of US Sports and Entertainment | US

Fans of the New Orleans Saints (“Saints”) filed a lawsuit against the National Football League (“NFL”), regarding the recent playoff overtime loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that a controversial no-call by referees resulted in the Saints’ loss and prevented them from going to the Super Bowl. The NFL has responded to the suit, urging the federal court to reject the fans’ class action claims. The case had been removed from Louisiana state civil court in New Orleans, to federal court in the Eastern District of Louisiana, but plaintiff’s argue that the lawsuit should be sent back to state court because they are not seeking monetary damages over the issue, but rather that the ending of the game be replayed. The NFL disagreed with this argument, saying that the ticket holders are claiming that they suffered a monetary loss in the cost of their tickets, and that because the ticket holders are filling the claim “on behalf of” other Saints fans, their suit qualifies as a class action lawsuit and therefore belongs in federal court. Additionally, the NFL argues that the plaintiffs’ lack standing to sue, because only the NFL commissioner has the authority to authorize replaying the end of the game, not the ticket holders. The NFL claimed, “that fans and ticket holders do not have standing to pierce, and it is a discretion that no court can compel the exercise of.”

This article was written with contributions from Tim Piscatelli.

Michael A. Rueda Partner | Head of US Sports and Entertainment | New York

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