NFL Facing First Lawsuit Over Blown Call in NFC Championship Game

NFL lawsuit in championship gameUPDATED: 2019/01/23 12:30PM

The New Orleans Saints lost their NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams and a New Orleans attorney wants the NFL to be held responsible.

Attorney Frank D’Amico, JR. filed a lawsuit in Civil District Court of Orleans Parish to ask courts to take action over the outcome of the game after a missed call by referees. With 1:49 left in the game, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman tackled Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis. The tackle, however, came about a second before the ball was even close to the reciever, which should have resulted in a pass interference penalty.

Fans, players and coaches believe that, had the penalty been called at the time, the Saints would have been able to run out the clock and kick the game-winning field goal. Sean Payton, the Saints’ Head Coach, said in a post-game conference that the NFL league office even admitted to blowing two calls during the game: One for pass interference and one for helmet-to-helmet contact.

This lawsuit is not seeking financial compensation, but rather is a petition for a Writ of Mandamus, which D’Amico says “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.”

D’Amico is referring to a rule in the NFL rulebook that 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 occurred.” He wants the commissioner to essentially restart the game from the point of the pass interference with the exact same game circumstances and let the game proceed. He admits this is probably not going to result in any changes, but says, “We have set the wheels in motion to compel him to do so using the legal remedies afforded to us under the law.”