NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Civil Court judge Kern Reese ruled Thursday that Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson is mentally competent to manage his business affairs. (Read the ruling here.)
The ruling comes after two weeks of testimony from both sides involved in the family power struggle. Closing arguments were given Friday (June 12).
In the ruling the judge stated:
Saints Vice President of Communications Greg Bensel tweeted the following statement on behalf of Tom Benson:
In response to the ruling, the attorney for the heirs, Randy Smith, sent the following statement:
The eight days of testimony in the battle over control of Benson's fortune began behind closed doors in Orleans Parish Civil Court on June 1.
The judge heard from 12 witnesses, although Tom Benson was never called to testify. Benson's children, grandchildren and wife were all called on to testify throughout the trial
Benson and his estranged family were fighting over his fortune after he announced that his wife, Gayle, would take over when he dies. The decision was followed by the family saying Benson was incapable of taking care of himself and his two franchises.
The case was brought on by his daughter Renee and two grandchildren, Rita and Ryan LeBlanc, who sought interdiction and were denied.