One piece of the wide ranging court battle over ownership of the New Orleans Pelicans and Saints found a bit of conclusion this afternoon. The petition for interdiction by estranged heirs, to file that Benson was no longer competent to handle his own affairs, was denied by judge Kern Reese.
Following the ruling Benson released a statement.
Gayle and I wish to thank the entire community for the overwhelming support that we have received during this trying time. Through it all, our fans and our sponsors showed unwavering support for our Saints and Pelicans.
We just finished minicamp in front of so many of our great fans and I cannot wait for training camp to start in late July.
On Monday, we will introduce our new Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. Our football and basketball teams are my focus and that is what has me excited.
And finally, I would like to personally and sincerely thank everyone that worked on this case on our behalf - the lawyers and the staff at the Saints and Pelicans. Now I say let's go win another Super Bowl and an NBA Championship.
This is not the end of the dispute however. Lawsuits in federal court and civil district court, also filed by the "three R's" (Renee Benson, Ryan LeBlanc, and Rita LeBlanc) are still ongoing. Those suits seek to keep Tom Benson from removing non-voting shares of the Pelicans and Saints from trusts set up by Benson for his heirs.
Today's ruling is a positive for the future of both franchises, but it does not solve the overarching dispute. Tom Benson eventually passing ownership to Gayle Benson remains in doubt awaiting these other rulings. Resolution will remain out of reach for now. Today is a good first step.