Saints owner Tom Benson scored another win in court on Wednesday against family members hoping to overturn Benson’s decision to change his will to bequeath ownership of the NFL team and the NBA’s Pelicans to his third wife, Gayle.
Via the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a judge’s ruling that Benson was mentally competent to alter his will. After the ruling, Tom Benson issued a statement that took aim at those in his family who sued him: his daughter, Renee Benson, and her children, Rita and Ryan LeBlanc.
“I am grateful that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal has affirmed the ruling that was handed down in the Civil District Court by Judge Kern Reese in this case where my daughter and two grandchildren attempted to have me interdicted,” Benson said. “This continues to be a very sad and trying time for me and my wife Gayle. I am hopeful that the 4th Circuit’s Opinion today will end this litigation.
“Last week, I signed the documents to settle the Shirley Benson Trust in Texas – a trust that I established, managed and successfully grew for the benefit of my daughter and grandchildren over many years. That settlement had my complete consent and authorization as the assets in that trust were left to my daughter and grandchildren in my former wife’s will. I saw no further need to manage those assets for those who have demonstrated such ingratitude toward me over the course of the last year.
“I am hopeful one day soon that all of their ungratefulness will end and I can continue to enjoy my work with the Saints and Pelicans without further interference.”
That probably won’t be happening soon. Benson’s estranged heirs have the right to appeal the decision to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Via the Associated Press, Benson’s heirs recently filed paperwork with the Louisiana Supreme Court aimed at unsealing some of the court records from the case regarding Benson’s mental capacity.