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Saints owner Benson declared competent

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Tom Benson, the 87-year-old owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, was ruled to be mentally competent on Thursday and will maintain control of his teams and $1.7 billion fortune.

An eight-day trial concluded last week, and the ruling was issued Thursday by Orleans Civil District Judge Kern Reese.

Reese ruled that Benson “is able to make reasoned decisions as to his person and his property and therefore this court will not order an interdiction of any kind in these proceedings.”

Benson’s daughter, Renee Benson, and grandchildren Rita and Ryan LeBlanc had filed a lawsuit in January after Benson cut ties with them and announced he would leave ownership of the Saints and Pelicans to his 10-year wife, Gayle.

The family members had sought for Benson to be declared incompetent, arguing he is being manipulated by his wife and team executives.

Benson has owned the Saints since 1985 and the Pelicans since 2012.


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