St. Louis lawsuit against the Rams likely will go to trial in January 2022

2016 Los Angeles Times
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When Rams owner Stan Kroenke hosts the first Super Bowl at his new stadium in California next February, he’ll also be dealing with the biggest potential mess associated with the relocation of his team.

Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a Missouri judge said this week that he plans to start the trial of the lawsuit filed by St. Louis against the Rams on January 10, 2022. The Super Bowl, assuming a seventeenth regular-season game, will happen on February 13, 2022.

The delay in the trial date (October had been the target) arises from guidelines regarding the reopening of courts and the presence of jurors, given the ongoing pandemic. The trial is expected to last two months.

The first step will be finding a proper jury.

“I think it’s going to be a challenge here to get a jury panel that can be fair and impartial,” NFL lawyer Jerry Carmody told the judge during a recent hearing.

“I agree getting a jury in this case is going to be the most difficult part about this trial,” Judge Christopher McGraugh conceded, adding that he plans to use detailed questionnaires to help spot potential biases in advance of the formal questioning of potential jurors.

The lawsuit, in which the plaintiffs apparently will try to recover more than $1 billion in damages, argues that the league and the Rams violated internal relocation procedures in authorizing the return of the Rams to Los Angeles, more than 20 years after St. Louis lured the Rams from L.A.

Although the broader jury pool surely consists of disgruntled Rams fans who would love to stick it to Stan, the reality is that there are plenty of non-football fans, in every market. Indeed, fewer than 100 million Americans watched this year’s Super Bowl, even though the country has more than 350 million people in it. Indeed, the best threshold question for any and all prospective jurors would be whether they watched all or part of Super Bowl XXXIV, Super Bowl XXXVI, and/or Super Bowl LIII, each of which featured the Rams. If the answer is no as to each of those three Super Bowls, it’s safe to say the person wasn’t and isn’t a Rams fan.

For the lawyers defending the Rams and the NFL, however, it’s important to start building the “unfair jury” angle as a potential excuse to be used later. If/when lawyers lose at trial, there’s a natural reluctance to attribute the outcome to their own mistakes and to focus instead on the notion that the jury was biased, the judge wasn’t fair, and/or the system is corrupt.

35 responses to “St. Louis lawsuit against the Rams likely will go to trial in January 2022

  1. So St. Louis is upset that after stealing the Rams from LA, LA then stole them back?

  2. Why not just settle and move on St Louis? Yes this was all a set up but it was legal. You signed a bad deal with Georgia that came back to bite you. Rams are in LA now, show some respect, settle, get a big lump some of cash. Use that to build a MLS stadium or something.

  3. I was living in St Louis when the Rams both came and left. Yes, Kroenke let the team fall apart so he could move it to LA. Yes, he took advantage of a city’s politicians desperate for an NFL team for their own egos. But St Louis community leaders dug their own fiscal mess here. Now they’re looking for their scapegoat.

  4. I don’t understand the basis of the lawsuit.
    You had a contract with the company.
    The company fulfilled the contract.
    You bid to keep the company from relocating.
    LA made a more attractive offer to the company.
    They moved.

    So what is the basis of the suit?

  5. Technically, the lawsuit was filed against the NFL, not the Rams. However, Kroenke will certainly provide important evidence.

  6. If finding an unbiased jury is such a concern of the Rams, ask to waive a jury trial altogether.

  7. If you want to move an NFL team somewhere (for a while), L.A. is the place! And, St. Louis got what they had coming to them, should never have let the Cards leave town.

  8. I live in LA. Hardly anyone cares about the Rams and even less care about the Chargers. I went to both games here as an Eagles fan and it was a sea of green. Give the team to a fanbase that cares.

  9. Finding jurors who don’t care about the Rams or pro football will be easy. Finding jury members who aren’t angry that their tax money goes to buying property and building stadiums for private entities such as the NFL and its member teams is getting much harder to do.

  10. If the terms of the lease were fulfilled by the Rams – as in the St Louis dome was not an upper quality facility in accordance with the lease terms – how did St Louis think they have a right to force the Rams to stay? Any private business can move to a new city of the so choose.

  11. If you are dumb enough to put up public money to subsidize a private Enterprise, welfare for billionaires, at least have the financial particulars clearly delineated so the taxpayers don’t get screwed. The city fathers of St.Louis failed to do so and are playing the blame game. Frankly, I don’t care who wins this case but it should be a precautionary tale for any other city who offering major financial incentives to lure business to their city, region or state.

  12. St. Louis sounds as hypocritical as those whiny clowns in baltimore who still cry about the Colts leaving, yet they stole the Browns from Cleveland in the same way.

  13. So does this open the door for Cleveland to sue LA for stealing the Rams?…!!!

  14. Face it. St. Lou is a baseball town only. They have lost two NFL franchises (Rams and Cardinals). And now they are suing LA for the same thing St. Lou did to LA? LA may be able to defend under the doctrine of dirty hands. St. Lou is a real piece of work.

  15. LA is one of the worst sports towns in America. They love the Lakers and the Raiders and pay no attention to anyone else.

  16. Houston should sue the Oilers/Titans for damages of being stuck with the dysfunctional Texans organization.

  17. Lol…they gonna sue the Phoenix Cardinals next? How do you lose two NFL teams and still whine about moneys.

  18. Cleveland should be awarded 1/2 the money since the Cleveland Rams moved to LA in 1946

  19. Just have Oakland and San Diego join in for a class action lawsuit. I guess we will be seeing new commercials saying “If your NFL team left you due to poor city leadership, you may be entitled to financial compensation”

  20. And this is the fall out for using public funding for NFL teams… Rams promised St.Louis they would consider their proposal (when their mind was already made up) and caused them to spend millions of dollars when they were misled. Thats the basis of the suite – the Rams intentionally deceived St.Louis.

    The impact to public funding going should be intriguing

  21. If I were the Rams I’d be less worried about finding jurors that aren’t football fans that finding jurors that don’t think Kroenke is a horses you-know-what.

  22. The city best be pursuing this from a position of the agreement not to save face. If they are trying to save face by filing this it could blow up in their face where not only out what they think is the settlement money, the money of their league representation and but also the fees of the NFL and Rams. The cities contract was pretty bad with the Rams where it needed the stadium to be in the top quarter of the league which is probably in the bottom third. Never mind all the players suing St Louis for the concrete ring of death..

  23. supercharger says:
    March 13, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    LA is one of the worst sports towns in America. They love the Lakers and the Raiders and pay no attention to anyone else.

    ———————

    Ok, pal. We’ll overlook that the Dodgers consistently lead MLB in attendance nearly every season.
    Even the Clippers have been selling out the last few seasons.
    Never mind the nasty, but obvious facts. I can’t believe people gave that ridiculous comment a thumbs up.

  24. I use to hate Issac Bruce and Tory Holt not only because they were good but mostly because they drove to the turf to avoid getting hit

  25. St Louis didn’t steal the Rams from LA. They were in Anaheim for 15 years before jumping ship to St Louis. The number of fights in the stands at the Big A resembled those at the LA Coliseum. They got out before there were any deaths.

  26. The number of armchair lawyers in the comments here is laughable. You guys either watch too much judge judy or stayed at a holiday inn express last night.

  27. St. Louis fans deserve a team. The town loves the sport the way that L.A. loves the other kind of football.

  28. waldoampere says:
    March 13, 2021 at 12:22 pm
    So St. Louis is upset that after stealing the Rams from LA, LA then stole them back
    ————————

    Not a fan of LA or the Rams, but LA and Anaheim refused to build them a stadium in the early 90’s, so they left.

    When the Chargers, Raiders, and Rams all filed for relocation a couple years ago, St. Louis and Missouri were the only city/state that was actively trying to get a stadium deal done. Kroenke had no intention to listen and had even acted in bad faith, buying the land in Inglewood that he’s building the stadium on before the Rams were even free agents.

    I hope St. Louis wins and wins big.

    Of course, they’ll never get an NFL franchise ever again. I doubt they care anymore after being spurned twice. Don’t forget that the Cardinals left St. Louis because they couldn’t get a new stadium and played in Phoenix for 19 years before they finally got one there.

  29. nyyankeehatespoliticos says:
    March 13, 2021 at 1:43 pm
    If the terms of the lease were fulfilled by the Rams – as in the St Louis dome was not an upper quality facility in accordance with the lease terms – how did St Louis think they have a right to force the Rams to stay? Any private business can move to a new city of the so choose.
    ——————————————————

    The twisted thing about the whole deal is that St. Louis built the Rams a new billion-dollar stadium in 1995 and the city/county seemed to be willing to build them ANOTHER new stadium to keep them. They’re still paying off that dome! That kind of stuff is crazy and taxpayers should be furious about it.

    The other part is that it sure seems like the Rams/Kroenke actively deceived and misled the city and got them to spend a lot of money trying to get them to stay. That’s just deplorable nonsense.

    Kroenke got what he wanted, but LA is a bad football town. Maybe St. Louis should try to lure the Chargers, who will never get support in LA – partly because it’s LA and partly because LA was never a big stronghold of SAN DIEGO Charger support. Oh, and the Spanos family has had an actively antagonistic relationship with fans for decades. So there’s also that.

  30. If Los Angeles is such a bad football town, why did they outdraw 24 other teams in 2019? Sure, lots of fans for visiting teams, but that’s a good thing! Quit comparing football mentality in LA to what you have in Green Bay and Pittsburgh. There are MILLIONS of NFL fans, with THOUSANDS supporting virtually every team in the league.

  31. fearsome4, because four million people live in L.A. It only takes a small fraction of the city to fill a stadium, whereas relatively small St. Louis needs a widespread die-hard fanbase to fill its stadium (which it actually managed for the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL). L.A. is a gigantic market that is second only to New York, so the NFL keeps trying to fill it no matter how many teams leave the city.

  32. themaskettaman – agreed. There are diehard Ram fans in Los Angeles. And die hard Eagle fans, Patriot fans, Niner fans, Raider fans, Viking fans, Packer fans… So it’s a GREAT football city. Just different from what makes Pittsburgh a great football city.

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