The Action Network’s Darren Roven called it – sort of. After referees blew a blatantly obvious pass interference (not to mention helmet-to-helmet contact) penalty during the Saints-Rams game this past Sunday, Roven said that he expected the NFL to face a class-action lawsuit within 24 hours. He has now followed up on that prediction, pointing out that a lawsuit (the first of possibly many) has now been filed.
In a Twitter post from yesterday, the sports gambling expert stated, “BREAKING: Attorney Frank D’Amico says he has filed a civil suit in New Orleans on behalf of Saints season ticket holders to make the right call and bring both teams back to replay the end of the game. First reported by @TraversWDSU. More to come.”
According to an accompanying story prepared by Action Network, the lawsuit was filed against the NFL, NFL Properties and the man who steers the ship, Commissioner Roger Goodell. It seeks to convince a judge to force the league to reverse the no-call after Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman obviously interfered with a pass attempt between Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Tommylee Lewis. If the judge agrees to the terms of the lawsuit, the game could be replayed from the point of the foul to its conclusion – less than two minutes – in accordance with NFL Rule 17, Section 2.
According to the lawyer, in speaking with The Action Network, “The law says that a judge can compel an organization who does business in the state to follow its own bylaws in customers in that state are damaged. There’s no doubt people have been damaged.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Saints season ticket holders, Tommy Badeaux and Candis Lambert. Badeaux is a lawyer in D’Amico’s office and Lambert is a local nurse, according to the story.
The case is expected to be heard next Monday at 10 AM and D’Amico has reportedly already begun the process to serve Goodell and the NFL.
The league has yet to speak up regarding the controversy; however, even Al Riveron, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, has acknowledged that his crew screwed up. An apology by the NFL wouldn’t be enough to correct the issue, however, and D’Amico asserts, “Any apology the NFL gives is a hollow apology. We want the league to follow the rules, bring the teams back and put 1:49 on the clock. Because short of that, no one believes this year’s Super Bowl means anything.”
The blown call was so embarrassing that one sportsbook offered refunds to its customers. While it didn’t give back the cash, PointsBet Sportsbook offered credit for the bets and stated on Twitter, “One blown call may change a game’s outcome. That doesn’t mean it should change YOUR outcome. We’re paying back ALL SpreadLine and MoneyLine bets on the @Saints. Everyone will have their bets refunded as Bonus Bets. Just think of it as Good Karma.”
The controversy surrounding the no-call has raised a lot of questions regarding the legitimacy of the officiating crew for the game and many have wondered if perhaps someone wasn’t enticed into helping the Saints not make it to the Super Bowl. In fact, two of the crewmembers that day have close ties to Los Angeles. Gary Calvetto was the ref closest to the penalty and he lives about two hours away from LA. Phil McKinnely, who isn’t a normal member of the officiating crew, was on the field for the game, as well. McKinnely is a former Rams player who also attended the University of California Los Angeles.