New Orleans attorney files lawsuit over no-call in NFC championship
Frank J. D'Amico, Jr.'s office said that he had been approached by season ticket holders to take legal action against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Author: WWL Staff, Paul Murphy
Published: 9:42 AM EST January 22, 2019
Updated: 1:26 PM EST January 22, 2019
NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans plaintiff's attorney, who calls himself "The Strong Arm" is now trying to strong arm the NFL.
Tuesday, Frank Damico, Jr., filed a lawsuit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.
The suit, on behalf of Saints season ticket holders Tommy Badeaux and Candis Lambert and "the Saints national fan base," would compel NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell into court to explain why he is not enforcing a league rule. Rule 17, Section 2, Article 1 would allow Goodell, should he so choose, to reverse or reschedule the outcome of the game between the Saints and Rams.
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The legal action comes after a blown call in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game. With 1:49 left to play in a 20-20 game, Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw a pass to Tommylee Lewis. The Rams Nickell Robey-Coleman tackled Lewis well before the arrival of the ball. Game officials let the play stand without calling a penalty.
"We're threatening a touchdown," Damico said. "The Rams player admitted that he took out our player on purpose because he thought he as beat to the end zone for a touchdown."
Damico added the "no-call" was so egregious, that Commissioner Goodell can't ignore it.
"It looks like the fix was in. It totally disgraces the Super Bowl," Damico said. "There's no legitimacy to the Super Bowl. The Rams should not be going."
Rule 17 says the NFL commissioner has the power to enact:
"The reversal of a game's result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred."
That makes it sound like the NFL could step in - if it wanted to - and force a rematch that Saints fans have been calling for.
But there's one problem.
In essence, Rule 17 is not a way for NFL teams to protest a call. Article 2 goes on to say:
"The Commissioner will not apply authority in cases of complaints by clubs concerning judgmental errors or routine errors of omission by game officials."
And here is the tough pill for Saints fans to swallow:
“Games involving such complaints will continue to stand as completed.” Among the damages claimed in the lawsuit: past, present and future mental anguish and emotional trauma, loss of faith in the NFL, loss of enjoyment of life and "distrust of the game which has become the National pastime."
The five-page filing does not set a dollar figure for the alleged damages.
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Damico admits what his lawsuit is seeking to do has never been done before. But, he maintains that doesn't mean it can't happen.
"So, what can the NFL do about the outcome of the Rams game, probably nothing," Damico said. "Bad calls happen. But, sometimes bad calls have bigger consequences than others."
Damico is asking for an expedited hearing on a Rule to Show Cause Motion in the case next Monday, Jan. 28. https://www.wkyc.com/article/sports/nfl/new-orleans-attorney-files-lawsuit-over-no-call-in-nfc-championship/95-0b97e2ad-6661-4059-a78a-2e8b0fa4961c?src=rss