September 9, 2019 / 8:39 PM / 9 days ago

Saints fan decides to drop 'Nola No-Call' lawsuit against NFL

(Reuters) - A New Orleans Saints fan who took the National Football League to court for a no-call by referees that likely cost the team a Super Bowl trip said on Monday he had decided to end his fight.

The lawsuit, which claimed fraud and conspiracy over the failure to call pass interference late in the Saints’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the penultimate round of the playoffs in January, was dismissed by a Louisiana court on Friday.

After a weekend contemplating future prosecution steps, if any, the Saints fan and the three others behind the lawsuit decided they will not ask for a re-hearing or seek relief from the United States Supreme Court.

“The Louisiana Supreme Court has now spoken,” attorney and Saints fan Tony LeMon, said in a statement. “Consequently we, the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, are ready to move on and respect the ruling of our State’s highest court.”

The NFL, through a spokesman, declined to comment when asked by Reuters in an email about the plaintiffs’ decision.

The controversy started when Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman barreled into Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis with a helmet-to-helmet hit well before the pass arrived inside the Rams’ 5-yard line.

Had a pass-interference penalty been called, the Saints would have had a first-and-goal situation with under two minutes left and could have run out almost all of the clock and set up a short game-winning field goal.

But the Saints instead kicked a field goal and the Rams had enough time to tie the game with a field goal of their own before going on to win the game in overtime.

Since the incident, NFL owners have voted to approve a rule proposal that makes interference calls and non-calls reviewable with instant replay for the 2019 season, which began last Thursday.

The Saints open their campaign later on Monday at home against the Houston Texans.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris

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