ST. LOUIS – St. Louis’ lawsuit against Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, the team, and the NFL is now gaining nationwide focus after a string of court setbacks for Kroenke’s legal team.
Kroenke’s first big loss was in the fight to move the case out of Missouri courts and into arbitration. The battle has now shifted to the phone records of Kroenke, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and multiple other team owners and league officials.
So far, Kroenke and the NFL are again losing big.
The latest St. Louis victory was yet another denial of a stay sought by Kroenke and league, this time by the Missouri Supreme Court.
St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority (which owns the Dome at Americas Center, where the Rams played in St. Louis for 21 seasons) are seeking millions of dollars in damages, including $17 million spent on a new stadium project to keep the rams in St. Louis.
The suit claims Kroenke and the league encouraged the project, even though they were already working to move the Rams back to Los Angeles.
In a court filing, Kroenke’s legal team calls the request for phone records an overly broad “fishing expedition” with no regard for the privacy of 121 private persons involved, working for the NFL or its 32 teams.
Jay Kanzler, a commercial law attorney and radio host at KTRS-550 radio in St. Louis, told Fox2/News11 the records will show only that calls and texts were made; they will not show the content of those calls and texts.
“It is a fishing expedition,” Kanzler said. “Everyone always uses that. When I ask you for documents and information, you call it a fishing expedition. I call it my chance to determine what was really going on…if they can start matching up the numbers: Kroenke called (Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry) Jones, who called this owner, who called that owner, they can start to show there was a lot of conversation going on about the time this decision was being made and conversation is what they’re saying amounts to collusion…I don’t think these calls are the smoking gun. These are the kind of records that prevent people from denying they had conversations. Collusion is all about conversation”
There have been recent reports damages in the case could be in the billions of dollars if the St. Louis side prevails. Kanzler doubts that, saying tens of millions in damages are more likely. He also says this records request may be whittled down at a hearing in the case on Monday.