The NFL’s bid to get an appeals court to strike down a decision allowing for discovery in a lawsuit over the missed pass interference call in the NFC Championship game last January was denied on Wednesday.
According to Matt Seldge of the NOLA.com, the Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the ruling of District Court Judge Nicole Sheppard to allow a lawsuit against the NFL to proceed. The appellate court found no fault in Sheppard’s decision last week granted the plaintiffs the ability to interview league officials – including Commissioner Roger Goodell – and game officials about the infamous no-call that helped the Rams eventually earn their way to the Super Bowl instead of the Saints.
The case is seeking only $75,000 in damages, which keeps it below a threshold that would risk the case being moved to a federal court. Plaintiff attorney Antonio LeMon said the money is inconsequential to him and he intends to give any money the case potentially yields to charity. LeMon’s goal has been to pry information about the game from the NFL, including the grading of the officials involved and if they were disciplined for missing the call.
Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman obliterated Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before Drew Brees‘ pass had reached its intended target. However, no flag was thrown on the play and the Saints were forced to kick a 31-yard field goal instead of getting a fresh set of downs at the Rams 6-yard line with less than two minutes to play. There was ultimately enough time remaining for the Rams to drive for a tying field goal that forced overtime, where the Rams won to advance to the Super Bowl.