Tom Benson settles lawsuit with heirs over Saints, Pelicans ownership (1 Viewer)


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Aug 1, 1997
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Sunset, La

By Greg LaRose, | The Times-Picayune

The long-running court battle between Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his heirs has reached an end. The attorneys overseeing the trusts for his daughter and her children said Friday afternoon (Feb. 3) that the billionaire has decided to settle the case, which was scheduled to go to trial Monday.

Tom Benson, 89, had sought to remove the ownership stakes of the teams from trusts for Renee Benson and her children Rita and Ryan LeBlanc. He sued when trustees blocked his move. They argued that the assets Tom Benson wanted to swap for the team shares weren't equal in value.

Bobby Rosenthal and Mary Rowe, who oversee the trusts, issued a statement calling the settlement "a winning proposition for the City and people of New Orleans and fans of the Saints and Pelicans everywhere." Its terms will be confidential, they said.

"The New Orleans Saints are among the elite, iconic franchises in professional sports, and the Pelicans are making their mark as a highly competitive and successful franchise in its own right, as well as an important part of the fabric of the City of New Orleans. Keeping these two teams in New Orleans and ensuring their future vitality has always been the highest priority for the family beneficiaries and the trustees. We are optimistic about the future success and prosperity of these two franchises," the trustees said.

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