Posted: 12:05 p.m.
Hamilton County's lawsuit against the Bengals has been dismissed by Federal District Court Judge Arthur Spiegel. Although Spiegel dismissed the case in a 64-page decision released Thursday morning citing statute of limitations, he also said the Bengals negotiated with the county in good faith.
In a lawsuit filed May 16, 2003, the county claimed the Bengals and the NFL had violated state and federal anti-trust laws during negotiations of the 1997 Paul Brown Stadium lease and sought millions in damages.
"We are pleased that Judge Spiegel took the time to thoroughly analyze the case and conclude that the facts were on our side," said Bengals president Mike Brown in a noon statement.
Although Spiegel said he felt the Bengals had what could possibly be called an "egregiously" favorable lease with the county that might have been reached by "unlawful competitve behavior," the club pointed to Spiegel's opinion that, "Not one of the County representatives has indicated that the revenue information provided by the Bengals and/or the NFL was in any way incorrect or misleading."
The team also noted that the ruling read, "All of the (county) officials indicated under oath that, in substance, they believed the Bengals negotiated with them in good faith."
There is no word if the county plans to appeal in federal court.