Benson heirs appeal competency case to LA Supreme Court

Benson heirs appeal competency case to LA Supreme Court

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Benson power struggle seems headed to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

The estranged family of Saints owner Tom Benson filed an appeal regarding the ruling over his mental competency.

Benson's daughter and two grandchildren claim the 88-year-old businessman is in mental decline and being manipulated by his wife, Gayle Benson, and Saints executives.

A civil court judge ruled in Tom Benson's favor last summer. And an appeals court also rejected the former heirs' argument that Tom Benson should have been forced to testify at the original civil trial.

The new appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court also seeks to partially unseal records in the case.

An attorney for the heirs released the following statement Wednesday:

Today, Renee, Rita, and Ryan filed an appeal with the Louisiana Supreme Court challenging the rulings of the lower courts which created a new privilege to refuse to testify in an interdiction proceeding, contrary to existing law. If not overturned, the rulings of the lower courts will permit the truth to be concealed by manipulation of those in a weakened state. We hope that the Louisiana Supreme Court hears our appeal so that the elderly and infirm can be protected under the law. Renee, Rita, and Ryan love and miss Tom Benson very much and will continue to try to protect him through this appeal.

Randall A. Smith
Smith & Fawer, LLC
Counsel for Renee Benson, Rita LeBlanc, and Ryan LeBlanc

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