The year long legal battle over control of the New Orleans Saints & Pelicans between Tom Benson and his estranged heirs appears to be at an end. ESPN reports, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld last year's ruling by civil court judge Kern Reese that Mr. Benson is competent to continue managing his affairs.That means he retains control of the New Orleans NBA, and NFL franchises. Benson's daughter, Renee, and her children sued him when they were removed from his plan for succession of ownership of the two sports franchises. The 88 year old was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, and deemed competent. The disinherited relatives appealed. Wednesday's ruling upheld last year's findings.

Benson issued the following statement, "I am grateful that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal has affirmed the ruling that was handed down in the Civil District Court by Judge Kern Reese in this case where my daughter and two grandchildren attempted to have me interdicted. This continues to be a very sad and trying time for me and my wife Gayle. I am hopeful that the 4th Circuit's Opinion today will end this litigation."

A trust established in Texas in 1980 for Benson's children, after the death of his first wife, is now under their control. The assets include a ranch, interest in a bank, and car dealerships.