Benson says family never rose to task of taking over Saints and - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Benson says family never rose to task of taking over Saints and Pelicans

Tom and Gayle Benson/FILE (FOX 8 Photo) Tom and Gayle Benson/FILE (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

Saints owner Tom Benson said family members who claim he is incompetent to run his empire never "rose to the task" of taking over for him when he dies, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

Benson's attorney responded to a lawsuit filed by Benson's daughter, Renee, and grandchildren Rita and Ryan Leblanc, saying "after years of concern and misgivings about petitioners' abilities… Mister Benson made the deliberate, reasoned, and difficult decision to change course and name as his successor his loving wife, Gayle Benson."

Last week, Benson announced he changed his mind about handing over the Saints and Pelicans to his daughter and grandchildren when he dies. They filed a lawsuit, suggesting he's incompetent and being manipulated by his wife.

According to the lawsuit, Benson has trouble remembering people's names, including his wife and the current president. He purportedly wrote an email two days after Christmas to his daughter and grandchildren banning them from Saints and Pelicans facilities, the Superdome and Smoothie King Center.

"I want no further contact with any of you," the email said, according to court documents.

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