saints owner settles one family feud
METAIRIE, La. — Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson has reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit involving his attempt to remove shares of his pro teams from trusts for his estranged daughter and her two children.
An announcement Friday by the NFL and NBA teams said the leagues had been informed of "terms related to the framework" of the agreement. The terms won't be made public, the teams said.
A federal trial — which would have made numerous private business documents public, including proprietary financial information that could have been sensitive to the NFL and NBA — was scheduled to begin Monday. Benson, 88, was expected to be compelled to testify.
In January 2015, Benson said he no longer wanted daughter Renee Benson and her children, Rita and Ryan LeBlanc, to inherit shares of the teams and he intended to replace those shares in the trust with other assets. Benson also said he intended to leave the teams fully in the hands of his third wife, Gayle, whom he married in 2004.
Tom Benson fired his daughter and her children from executive positions with the clubs. Three lawsuits followed, in state courts in Texas and Louisiana, and in federal court in New Orleans. The Texas case was settled in January.
The federal suit involved the rejection by trustees of Benson's proposed asset swap.
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