Judge Decides Eagles Can Sue Over Picketing

Posted: October 29, 1987

Common Pleas Court Judge Nicholas M. D'Alessandro ruled yesterday that he does have the authority to hear the Philadelphia Eagles' lawsuit challenging the city's handling of the Oct. 4 union protest at Veterans Stadium.

D'Alessandro issued a decree rejecting the argument of city attorneys that the constitutional separation of the executive and judicial branches of government should bar him from hearing the Eagles' suit.

The Eagles contend in their lawsuit that, as a result of the unruly demonstration by 3,000 unionists during the National Football League players strike, the city should be found in contempt of a court injunction that limited stadium picketing. The lack of police protection by the city, the Eagles say, violated the terms of their Veterans Stadium lease.

One source close to the lawsuit said last week that Eagles owner Norman Braman's motive in pursuing legal action was to pressure the city to sell him the 89 Veterans Stadium skyboxes owned by the city. Braman emphatically denied such a motive.

The next step in the case is for the Eagles to file a petition requesting that D'Alessandro hold hearings. Fran Milone, an attorney for the club, said yesterday that he had not spoken with Eagles officials and did not know how they planned to proceed.

"Obviously, we're pleased with the judge's ruling, and we agree with his findings," Milone said.

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