St. Louis lawyers accuse NFL, Rams of delay tactics in relocation lawsuit

Sport

The move of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles has sparked multiple pieces of litigation. The big one — brought by St. Louis, the county, and the regional convention and sports complex authority — remains active. However, it’s not moving forward fast enough for the liking of the St. Louis plaintiffs.

Via Ben Fredrickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a lengthy hearing on Thursday focused in part on allegations that the NFL and the Rams are dragging their feet.

For example, the plaintiffs have yet to question former NFL executive Eric Grubman. A motion to compel Grubman’s testimony and to sanction the NFL and the Rams for alleged delay tactics was presented to the court on Thursday.

“Since the case was filed, it has taken repeated motions and the Court’s Orders to compel Defendants to answer simple interrogatories and produce responsive documents,” the plaintiffs’ paperwork explains, via Fredrickson. “Even after the Court’s Orders, Defendants have repeatedly asserted frivolous challenges or simply refused to respond. Mr. Grubman’s unilateral refusal to appear for his deposition without explanation is only the latest in Defendants’ multi-year string of discovery abuses.”

Via the article in the Post-Dispatch, Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Chargers owner Dean Spanos have canceled their own depositions; one of the lawyers representing the NFL said that both had to reschedule due to COVID-19. (It’s unclear whether it was contended that either or both men contracted COVID-19.)

Thursday’s hearing also included more efforts by the NFL and the Rams to focus on the terms of the original lease that brought the Rams to St. Louis in 1995. That lease apparently isn’t part of the current litigation, which focuses on whether the league and the Rams adhered to the relocation guidelines, and whether St. Louis wasted time and money on an effort to keep the Rams in town.

Bottom line? The litigation isn’t going away. But it doesn’t seem to be on track for a trial date or any other resolution any time soon.