Bengals respond to lawsuit dismissal appeal

Posted: 2:35 p.m.

The Bengals today expressed disappointment with the decision by Hamilton County Commissioners Phil Heimlich and Todd Portune to appeal Judge Arthur Spiegel's dismissal of their antitrust lawsuit against the Bengals and the NFL.

"We thought the County might follow the Cincinnati Enquirer's advice that this lawsuit was a 'pipe dream' and that it is 'Time to stop suing and start planning,' " said Bengals president Mike Brown.

In an editorial last month, The Enquirer urged the Commissioners "to accept the ruling and not ask for a replay in the Court of Appeals."

Bengals attorney Stuart Dornette called the appeal decision "all the more discouraging because Phil Heimlich, Todd Portune and their lawyers clearly did not take the time, before filing the original lawsuit, to find out the facts."

"The one person who has done that analysis and looked at all the facts is Judge Spiegel," Dornette said. "He is an experienced and thoughtful judge who concluded that the County did not have a claim to bring when they jumped into this lawsuit."

In his opinion regarding negotiations between the Bengals and the County over the Paul Brown Stadium lease, Judge Spiegel found that the County and its lawyers were "unable to identify one statement in the course of negotiations that was false or otherwise misleading."

Referring to the County officials who negotiated the lease, the Judge wrote that "all the officials indicated under oath that, in substance, they believed the Bengals negotiated with them in good faith."

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