This week in crybabies: Judge tosses Saints fan's suit
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans Saints ticket holders who blame NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for the team's disappointing season aren't entitled to special compensation for their suffering, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Helen "Ginger" Berrigan dismissed a class-action lawsuit that a Saints season-ticket holder, David Mancina, filed against the NFL and Goodell over the league's bounty investigation, which led to suspensions of players, coaches and its general manager.
The suit claimed the NFL's sanctions against the team over its alleged system of offering cash bonuses to Saints players for big hits punished ticket holders more than anyone else and sought more than $5 million in damages.
Berrigan rejected the notion that Saints ticket holders were the only ones who could have experienced "mental suffering" from the team's 7-9 record this season.
"Rather, that agony has been much more widely felt by the Who Dat Nation," Berrigan wrote in her ruling, which came only days before New Orleans hosts Sunday's Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens.
Mancina, 56, of Mandeville, claimed he and other ticket holders were entitled to compensation for the diminished vale of their tickers and their "personal emotional reaction to the unwarranted penalties inflicted on their beloved team, players, coaches, and executives."
Berrigan, however, said Mancina hadn't provided any legal support for the argument that a "sport fan has rights greater than those of a spectator, regardless of how ardent his team devotion may be."
Berrigan also presided over lawsuits that Saints players filed against Goodell and the league over their suspensions. The player suspensions eventually were overturned, but the coaches served their punishments.
Earlier this month, Berrigan dismissed Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against Goodell. She referenced the other cases in her ruling Wednesday.
"First, as this court has previously stated, even if the process surrounding 'Bountygate' was initially procedurally flawed, it resulted in a revised discipline accepted by those involved based on the finding that 'conduct detrimental' to the game of football had occurred," she wrote. "In addition, the only distinction between a ticket holder who is a fan and a ticketless fan is the ticket holder's right to entry and seating at the game granted by the license."
Mancina and his attorney, Lawrence Wiedemann, said they hadn't discussed whether to appeal her ruling.
"I really do believe the season-ticket holders were affected, and that's a number you can quantify," Mancina said. 'It was suffering, particularly at the front end of the season with the way we were losing."
Wiedemann said the suit wasn't a publicity stunt and that he still believes the law is on their side.
"I thought there was a legitimate right to recover or I wouldn't have filed the lawsuit," he said.
Even if the case ends with Berrigan's ruling, Mancina said he doesn't regret suing.
"I can't tell you the number of people who said, 'I'm so glad you did that,'" he said.
JUNE 17 If anyone ever wonders why Saints fans hate Atlanta with a capital H, here's a good indication. Radio "professionals" at an Atlanta station created an entire segment around making fun of former Saints player Steve Gleason, who is now paralyzed by ALS. Listen, nobody's ever accused DJs of being rocket scientists. But how could someone think it is amusing to pretend to ask a man with a degenerative, fatal disease if he will be alive next week? The DJs have been fired, and are now whining about how gutless their former bosses are. Wow.
JUNE 18 Here's the latest from the Advocate on the fatal hit-and-run accident allegedly involving the president of the Livingston Parish School Board. He's accused by police of hitting a 21-year-old man on a highway early Sunday and driving away. The man died at a hospital later. On Monday, police seized the president's truck and towed it away. But he's available for board meetings: apparently a $500 bond is sufficient for this type of thing over in St. Helena Parish.
JUNE 18 Former broadcast journalist Griffin Scott has posted this plea on his blog for financial assistance from his readers. Scott, who says he was fired after he wrote something fairly innocuous (for Facebook) on his wall, is suing a media giant for his job back. He's framed himself as David going after a bloated media giant, and he's probably not far off.
JUNE 18 Here's a fairly absurd column posted on DIG Magazine about the completely absurd practice of naming killer storms. Tornadoes don't have names. Blizzards don't have names. But hurricanes do, and there's a big process to bestow them, Jacques Cormery writes. He's right about the crazy assemblage of names -- this year, there's everything from Tanya to Humberto -- and his idea that we don't waste good names on killer storms is a good one.
JUNE 17 Political columnist John Maginnis has some advice for Louisiana Republicans: grow up. After the schism that occurred in this past session - fiscal hawks teaming up with Democrats to spank the Republican "majority" and hand Gov. Jindal his, er, aspirations for continued solon control -- they need to figure out how to get along with each other, Maginnis writes.
JUNE 17 Here's the Picayune's obit story for Dorothy 'Miss Dot' Domilise, the lady who made poboys at the uptown restaurant that bears her name. Miss Dot moved to New Orleans during World War II, where she met and married her husband Sam. When she passed away Friday she was 90, and had spent more than 60 of those years working at the restaurant on Annunciation Street.
JUNE 17 This editorial in the Advocate speaks in favor of the consent decrees that have federal judges overseeing police operations and the sheriff's parish prison in New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu and Sheriff Gusman can't get along, so outside forces, like the Inspector General and the judges, are needed to make sure things run right, the editorial opines.
JUNE 18 Here's a post from Manny Schewitz on Forward Progressives that is good for a chuckle. Manny had an epiphany back in November, and is sharing it with us today: he believes that Fox "News" is killing the GOP by pandering to right wing nuts. Now, don't get it twisted: Manny's not broke up about it. He says he enjoys watching the downward spiral with a shot of whiskey and "a schadenfreude chaser."
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.