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Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Saints Owner Must Undergo Mental Evaluation

NEW ORLEANS (CN) - A mental evaluation has been ordered by an Orleans Parish judge for Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson.

Orleans Parish Judge Kern Reese ordered the 87-year-old billionaire must undergo evaluations by three difference doctors to decide whether he is capable of controlling his businesses.

One doctor will be named by Benson, one will be named by his daughter, and a third doctor will be chosen jointly by the doctors, the judge ruled.

Neither Benson nor his estranged family members attending the hearing. Yesterday afternoon, the Saints posted a statement from Benson in which he said he "looked forward to taking the test."

Last month, Tom Benson's daughter, Renee LeBlanc, and grandchildren, Rita and Ryan LeBlanc, filed documents in Orleans Parish Court that suggest Benson is infirm and to wrest control of his finances after Benson froze his daughter and grandchildren from accessing the Saints and Pelicans' offices or from entering Benson-owned car dealerships, or from using his Texas ranch or any of his other assets.

Attorneys representing both sides - on one hand, Tom Benson and his wife, and on the other, Renee, Rita and Ryan LeBlanc - met before the judge Tuesday morning to decide whether Tom Benson should undergo a mental evaluation. None of the Bensons were present at the hearing.

Shortly after Benson froze Renee, Rita and Ryan LeBlanc from accessing his assets, he announced that his third wife, Gayle, will handle his finances.

Attorneys representing the LeBlancs argue that 87-year-old Benson is not in the right mind frame to make financial decisions. The LeBlanc's court filings suggest Benson's wife Gayle may be behind Benson's recent financial decisions.

Judge Reese ordered the medical evaluations be completed by March 13.

The New Orleans court appearance came only days after a judge in Texas appointed two receivers in San Antonio to look after Benson's finances. Renee, Rita and Ryan LeBlanc maintain residences in New Orleans but live primarily in Texas.

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