ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The relocation lawsuit against Rams team owner Stan Kroenke and the NFL takes a major step forward after a St. Louis judge refuses to throw out the case. The 16-page ruling allows the case to proceed. It is a legal victory for St. Louis while it is a blow to the Rams and the NFL.
Kroenke moved the rams to Los Angeles in 2016. The lawsuit was filed the next year by the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, and the Regional Convention and Sports Authority Complex. It claims the NFL broke its own relocation rules with the Rams move.
The suit alleging the move was a breach of contract, fraud, illegal enrichment, and interference in business by the Rams and the NFL. All of that, the lawsuit claims, caused a significant public financial loss.
The Rams, Kroenke, and the NFL filed a motion for a summary judgment in June to try and get the suit dismissed. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that lawyers argued the NFL’s relocation guidelines are not a contract and that team owners can apply their own business judgment in determining whether a team should move to advance to NFL’s collective interest.
Judge Christopher McGraugh disagreed saying in the order that the plaintiffs point to evidence that the Rams, Kroenke, and the NFL unjustly enriched themselves from the move.
McGraugh also would not dismiss the fraud claims in the suit which allege that the rams, Kroenke, and the NFL lied to the public about the plans for the team’s move to Los Angeles.
Lawyers for Kroenke and the NFL had no comment while an attorney for the plaintiffs could not be reached. A civil trial is set for January.