(NEW ORLEANS)– When football season kicks off in September, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is going to be sitting down for a deposition.
The case, filed against the NFL by a Saints fan who is an attorney, stems from the controversial no-call during the NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams, where an apparent pass interference was committed by corner back Nickell Robey-Coleman on Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis.
On Monday, Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Nicole Sheppard said the NFL commissioner and the three officials involved in the call should sit for a deposition in New Orleans, according to nola.com. It comes after the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the judge’s decision to allow the suit to move forward.
Attorney Tony LeMon said he brought the suit because he said he wants accountability. LeMon alleges fraud by the NFL and crafted the lawsuit to keep damages low, as to not make the suit a federal civil suit, which could more easily get thrown out.
LeMon is seeking $75,000 in damages and says they will go to charity.
“I’m ecstatic about it, we’ve waited a long time for this,” LeMon told local station WVUE after Monday’s ruling.
There have been numerous other lawsuits against the NFL that have gotten thrown out in federal court, but Ken Schreiber, a lawyer and sports columnist, told ABC News because of the low dollar amount, the suit can stay in state court.
“Anything above $75,000 gets moved to federal court,” he told ABC News.
The outrage from the no-call led the NFL to admit the officials got it wrong, Rams player Robey-Colman to admit guilt and even a speech from Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy on the Senate floor.
The Rams ultimately lost this year’s the Super Bowl to the Patriots, 13-3.
“We understand the frustration of the fans,” Goodell said at a press conference in February. “I’ve talked to [Saints] coach [Sean] Payton, the team, the players. We understand the frustration that they feel right now. We certainly want to address that.”
“Whenever officiating is part of any kind of discussion post-game, it’s never a good outcome for us. We know that. Our clubs know that. Our officials know that,” he said. “But we also know our officials are human. We also know that they’re officiating a game that moves very quickly and have to make snap decisions under difficult circumstances. And they’re not going to get it right all the time.”
Schreiber says that the NFL “still has one avenue left to appeal” by asking for a stay in the case and appealing to the Louisiana State Supreme Court. The lawsuit could ultimately be thrown out, after the deposition happens, but this is all part of the evidence gathering process, Schreiber said.
He expects attorneys to grill Goodell on why he didn’t use his power of “corrective action” to change the course of the game and what the process is of choosing officials after highlighting that some of the officials were from the Los Angels area.
The NFL has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.
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