Judge sets hearing to address psychiatric report on Saints, Pelicans owner Tom Benson

By SI Wire
April 03, 2015

A civil district court judge set a June 1 hearing date to review the confidential mental health report on New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson, reports the Associated Press.

The report will not be released to the public in efforts to keep Benson’s medical condition private.

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Judge Kern Reese ordered the evaluation in February and it was completed last month.

Three psychiatrists evaluated the mental stability of the 87-year-old Benson after his daughter, Renee and her two children sued him after he announced that his wife, Gayle, will succeed him as the owner of both teams, instead of a previous plan that had called for his granddaughter, Rita Benson LeBlanc, to take over ownership.

The succession plan also included car dealerships, a FOX-affiliate television station in New Orleans and several real estate holdings.

Benson's family members say that he is not capable of making decisions on his own. Benson has been seen using a wheelchair and walker to assist his mobility after several knee surgeries but insists he is otherwise healthy.

Benson also filed a lawsuit wanting to remove $550 million of non-voting shares in the Saints and Pelicans in exchange for real estate.

Benson was temporarily removed by a Texas judge as a trustee for a trust his first wife set up for Renee Benson. That trust does not include either the Saints or Pelicans.

If civil district court in New Orleans rules in favor the plaintiffs, Benson would be forced to give up control of his businesses to a court-appointed individual.

- Scooby Axson

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