Breaking: Tom Benson’s heirs to file ruling appeal after Saints owner was declared competent
Just days after New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson won a trial against his heirs that officially ruled him competent and fit to continue running the two organizations, as expected, an appeal is being filed, according to Fox 8 New Orleans.
It all started earlier this year when Benson made some changes in who will take control of his empire upon his death. The 87-year-old’s initial plans were to grant ownership of his NFL and NBA franchises to his granddaughter, Rita Benson LeBlanc.
However, Tom announced that he would hand over command to his current and third wife, Gayle. As expected, the news did not go over so well with his daughter Renee and her two children, Rita and Ryan, who became petitioners in a lawsuit filed against their elder relative and mentor.
The suit basically stated that Tom Benson is old and incompetent, claiming that the billionaire’s “health and mental capacity have significantly declined” and that he has “fallen under the influence” of his wife. Following that mess, a Texas judge decided to temporarily freeze Mr. Benson’s assets in the Lone Star State, a place where Tom has a brimming portion of business.
The past few months have been ugly for the Benson family and the entire organization. However, after an eight-day trial, Orleans Civil District Judge Kern Reese ruled Tom Benson competent and able to continue ownership of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans.
But of course, that will not be the end of it. The three heirs have filed an appeal against the final ruling, according to their attorney, Randy Smith.
“Renee, Rita and Ryan, having heard with their own ears and seen with their own eyes Tom Benson’s mental decline, as well as the compelling evidence presented at trial from every single witness, believe that Tom Benson remains in that ‘foggy state’ described by the Court, and that the cognitive impairment acknowledged by the Court is worse and will only continue to worsen,” Randy Smith said in a statement.
WDSU released additional information from Smith’s statement.
“Although we have the utmost respect for the Court, refusal of Tom Benson’s counsel to allow Tom Benson to take the witness stand further evidences Tom Benson’s diminished capacity and serves to suppress the truth.”
As many anticipated, it’s not over yet, Who Dat Nation. Stay tuned as the story progresses.
Next: BREAKING: Tom Benson wins competency trial
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