First Lawsuit Filed Against the NFL Over Blown Call in NFC Championship Game

The Big Game

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WOWK) – A New Orleans attorney wants NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to “take action over Rams-Saints outcome.”  Attorney Frank D’Amico Jr. filed the lawsuit in Civil District Court for Orleans Parish.

The lawsuit comes after a missed call by referees at Sunday’s NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams.   

With 1:49 left in regulation play, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman tackled Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis.  The problem is that tackle came about a second before the ball was even close to the receiver.

Fans, coaches and players alike believed the tackle would result in a pass interference penalty, but that call never came.  If a penalty had been called at that time, the Rams had only two remaining timeouts and fans believe the Saints would have been able to run out the clock and kick the game-winning field goal.  

Saints Head Coach, Sean Payton, said in a post game news conference that the NFL league office admitted to two blown calls, one for pass interference and another for helmet-to-helmet contact.

The lawsuit filed against the NFL and its commissioner is not seeking financial compensation, rather, it is a petition for a Writ of Mandamus which seeks equitable relief and not monetary damages.   D’Amico says “A Writ of Mandamus action is filed to compel a corporation (in this case the NFL) to follow its own laws, rules, or guidelines… This lawsuit is about holding the league and Roger Goodell accountable for the blatant (mis)actions of its employees and maintaining the integrity of the NFL.”

The rule to which D’Amico refers is one buried deep in the NFL rule book, Rule 17, Section 2, Article 3.  This rule allows for the commissioner to make a call on “the reversal of a game’s result either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occured.”   

D’Amico says Goodell should “turn back time to the spot of the penalty that wasn’t called, put the teams back on the field from that point in the game, give the Saints first and goal at the spot of the foul, put 1:49 on the clock, and let the game proceed, tied at 20, with the Rams having one time out left.”

While D’Amico admits that Goodell will probably do nothing about the missed call, he says “We have set the wheels in motion to compel him to do so using the legal remedies afforded to us under the law.”         

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