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Super Bowl class-action lawsuit expands

Super Bowl Football AP

When the first lawsuit arising from the Super Bowl seating fiasco was filed on Wednesday, two distinct classes were identified:  (1) the 400 fans who had tickets but ultimately not seats; and (2) a group of Cowboys’ season-ticket holders known as the “Founders,” who purchased $1,200 tickets and allegedly received substandard views and/or seats.

The class has now expanded via the filing of an amended complaint, a copy of which PFT has obtained.

In addition to Steve Simms, who represents the 400, and Mike Dolabi, who represents the Cowboys’ season-ticket holders, Wes Lewis has joined the case as representative of the ticket-holders who were “unreasonably delayed, relocated or completely displaced from their seats at Super Bowl XLV as a result of the incomplete installation of temporary seats, which were deemed unsafe and unusable.”

The case now consists of those who did not get into the game (the “Displaced Class”), those who were moved to different seats and/or significantly delayed in gaining pre-game access to the seats due to problems with the installation of temporary seats (the “Relocated/Delayed Class”), and the Cowboys’ season-ticket holders who allegedly received substandard accommodations (the “Founders Class”).

The lawsuit also has expanded the legal theories, adding an allegation of “negligent misrepresentation” to the four prior claims (breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud/deceit/concealment, and violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act).  Under the “negligent misrepresentation” claim, the plaintiffs contend that the league, the Cowboys, and/or Jerry Jones failed to take reasonable steps to communicate to the three classes of customers true information about their assigned seats.  In non-legalese, it means that the league inadvertently, and carelessly, allowed a false impression to be created about the quality of the accommodations.

The complaint filed by lawyer Michael Avenatti on behalf of the class action now encompasses all customers who believe they didn’t get what they paid a lot of money for when arriving at Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV.  As to the 400 who didn’t get in, we continue to believe that the league should move swiftly to reimburse them all travel and lodging expenses and the actual cost paid for the ticket, along with something else for their trouble.

As to the other two classes, the situation becomes more complicated.  Should folks who got to their seats later than they would have liked get a full refund and complete reimbursement for their travel and lodging expenses?  Probably not.  But they should get something, and the lawyers should work together to figure out what that something should be.  Ditto for the Cowboys’ season-ticket holders who allegedly endured obstructed views and/or four-plus hours on a metal folding chair.  They should get something, but not every penny that they spent to attend the game.

We continue to hope that both sides will be reasonable, and that both sides will move quickly and in good faith to resolve an incident that, frankly, has become even more embarrassing than the Jackson-Timberlake wardrobe malfunction of 2004.

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30 Responses to “Super Bowl class-action lawsuit expands”
  1. WingT says: Feb 13, 2011 1:41 PM

    SeatGate will not go away. Without a lawsuit, can you imagine the response that Jerry boy would have given his season ticket holders?

    I’m glad that the NFL is being taken to task by some fans – it’s about time.

  2. jc1958cool says: Feb 13, 2011 1:44 PM

    old roger (a.k.a.) pinnochio, your plate is full now!
    the longer you wait the worse it will get!
    i say give’m 15 grand each, that’s less than 200,000 total, you can get it back from harrison this year!!!!

  3. jutts says: Feb 13, 2011 1:47 PM

    Good, litigate your ass off. The NFL doesn’t give a rats ass about the fans. Its all about the Money.

  4. ipeefreelyagain says: Feb 13, 2011 1:52 PM

    This is getting stupid. People are so shallow anymore. Everyone wanting a free ride, holding their hand out for more money.

    Everything I read, the NFL has bent over backwards trying to rectify the issue, but since some lowlife lawyers have convinced the fans they can milk the NFL for all they’ve got, the issue is still ongoing.

    I’m actually surprised the fans that accepted the field passes and such during the game can have any case against the NFL. If they already accepted a form of settlement…

    Final word on this lengthy comment- there is no such thing as a bad seat at Cowboys stadium with the largest HDTV in the world setting in front of you. boom

  5. skoobyfl says: Feb 13, 2011 1:54 PM

    Whiny fans suck.

  6. jimr10 says: Feb 13, 2011 1:58 PM

    People are wanting to win the lottery and not have to buy a ticket. This is one reason people do not like lawyers. New York has the highest per capita of lawyers and New Jersey has the highest per capita of toxic waste dumps. You know why? New Jersey had first choice.

  7. someonestolesociofan says: Feb 13, 2011 2:10 PM

    Only in Jerry-World.

    44 of these things have come off without a hitch, but send it down to Jerry Jones and his greed gives the game its worst PR ever. The only thing I can imagine that would be worse is sending it to FedEx Field.

  8. hosmachine says: Feb 13, 2011 2:12 PM

    @ SKOOBYFL

    You must really be roger goodell or jerry jones. I’m not saying I agree with whats going on but if anyone of you were in that position you would be trying to cash out for as much as you could. It’s all about the money. This is what happens when layers get involved looking for their own payday. It’s sad but it’s the world we live in today.

  9. sageyoung says: Feb 13, 2011 2:13 PM

    Ya know, I was denied entry into the Super Bowl also; wonder if I can get in on this? Seems to me the NFL unfairly set the price of a ticket above the level in which I could pay. Shouldn’t I be compensated as well?

  10. hobartbaker says: Feb 13, 2011 2:13 PM

    A disparate group of disaffected souls. But all the subsets of fans and their various lawyers do share one thing in common.

    NO CLASS.

  11. whatevnfl says: Feb 13, 2011 2:14 PM

    Final word on this lengthy comment- there is no such thing as a bad seat at Cowboys stadium with the largest HDTV in the world setting in front of you. boom

    except when you know, you can’t see it.

  12. gafraidh says: Feb 13, 2011 2:16 PM

    Can it be expanded again to include the pain and suffering of those that need to hear about/put up with this crap?

  13. WingT says: Feb 13, 2011 2:20 PM

    I don’t see this as a frivolous lawsuit. The NFL was deceptive – they sold seats they didn’t have.

    They need to be stopped from doing that in the future. A lawyer will be able to remind them of the importance of that – especially if they are made to pay a hefty financial penality.

  14. sudzy11 says: Feb 13, 2011 2:24 PM

    I would guess that the Cowboy season ticket holders who are suing will end up being former season ticket holders. Jerry would have to find some way to get back at them.

  15. tombrookshire says: Feb 13, 2011 2:28 PM

    When the league knew there would be no seats and failed to notify it’s customers (good faith contractual agreement) they were negligent and thus liable. The league has no shot here because it goes to what they knew (there were no seats) and when they knew it (at least one week before the game). You would figure that the league’s lawyers and Jones’ lawyers could have forseen the outcome and advised some mitigating remedy. But instead the Jones and the NFL did absolutely nothing, preferring to wait to see what would happen. It was predictable. What reasonable person would go all the way to Dallas, in inclement weather, taking a chance on getting stuck in some airport, and then not expect to be compensated with more than just a game ticket and airfare for next year’s game, to just take the offer, shut up and go away. What utter arrogance and distain they have shown for fans. All of you NFL defenders and apologists should take note of how these fans were treated. It tells you all you need to know about how the league views it’s fans. Take your money and your loyalty to where it is valued.

  16. russrpm says: Feb 13, 2011 2:51 PM

    I think the suit should be further expanded to include people like me, who are economically challenged, and were not provided with a physical seat at the stadium, even though I have been a fan for over 30 years. That evil Jerry Jones, and the money grubbing NFL conspired to prevent me from enjoying the game in person by pricing the seats, accomodations, parking, and concessions well out of my reach. I believe a just settlement would be to make all seats first come first served, and sold at 1977 Super Bowl o$100.00 face value. I believe that the class action represented here is much larger than the ones discussed in this article, and will have many fans joining. Any takers.

  17. thefiesty1 says: Feb 13, 2011 3:18 PM

    This is redunkulus! I should be compensated having set thru the poor pre game, the trashed national anthem and the worse than poor halftime garbage. Everyone that was involved in any way or form should be repaid for their time and experience by the NFL and the cow babies.

  18. connie75 says: Feb 13, 2011 3:33 PM

    God, 400 out of 103,000 people at the super bowl. That’s like 0.003% of the attendance, yet we’re gonna have to hear about this crap for the next 6 months at least.

    Sigh

  19. SteelTown6 says: Feb 13, 2011 3:35 PM

    The price of Cowboys season tickets just went up …again.

  20. jc1958cool says: Feb 13, 2011 4:25 PM

    ipeefreelyagain: only an diot would spend a fortune to see the game and watch a TV!

  21. stairwayto7 says: Feb 13, 2011 4:31 PM

    Sue for $100,000 a piece!Make Goodell feel the pressure so he will quit! Worse commish EVER!!

  22. jroneputt says: Feb 13, 2011 4:43 PM

    I had a golf game planned for wed and thursday in Dallas during the week of the super bowl and it was cancelled due to weather, can I join this suit??

  23. tommytd says: Feb 13, 2011 4:45 PM

    Maybe they could have relocated all those unfortunate folks into church basements so they could have watched the game on flatscreens! Oh, never mind…forget that idea…I forgot they shut all those folks down for “infringing” on their profits! DUMP GOODELL, HE’S NO GOOD FOR THE GAME!

  24. winstonhussein says: Feb 13, 2011 4:47 PM

    Then you have to throw in everyone else there who couldn’t change the channel and were forced to hear Christina Aguilera torture our national anthem.

    That’s got to be worth a free beer or at least tickets to the Spiderman Musical.

  25. buzzbissinger says: Feb 13, 2011 4:48 PM

    Really interesting things going on with the NFL nowadays:

    1. Goodell wants 2 extra regular season games and the only people who agree with him are owners and season ticket holders.

    2. This whole ‘SeatGate’ debacale.

    3. The closer the deadline approches, the more it appears the NFL/Owners are prepared to be the bullies.

    Anyone else see a pattern?

  26. ham1 says: Feb 13, 2011 5:20 PM

    Keep a choke hold on em and dont let up.
    Those jerks deserve everything they have coming
    to them. They think so highly of themselves that they actually thought they could get away with the shoddy way they treat the folks who provide their meal ticket. Really when is enough money enough? Was it really worth ot trying to set an attendance record? Fools.

  27. raven4life21 says: Feb 13, 2011 8:16 PM

    for all you people who didn’t experience what these fans did you don’t have a leg to stand on… put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine the disappointment in traveling thousands of miles to finally watching ur beloved football team play in a game most only dream of watching in person… only to hit a brick wall of dissappointment when you arrive… the odds of your team making it back are so minimal and it may just be a once in a lifetime opportunity… many of these people could have spent a huge chunk of savings (maybe the only savings they have left) to attend this game or put themselves into a heaping credit card debt to obtain their dream of going to the Super Bowl (if the ravens made it that’s what we were going to do as well, i couldn’t pass it up for anything)… add the ice storm and awful driving conditions and the extremely overpriced tickets and hotel accommodations and it possibly turns into the worst day of peoples lives… what about the people who chose to take off work that could have been home making income for their families that was lost? yeah there may be some that are money grubbing idiots but as long as they aren’t going overboard i think this is a reasonable lawsuit… at first i thought that triple the price and future super bowl ticket was legit… but taking all these factors into consideration it may fall well short of equal… personally, i’d sure the pants off them for all this trouble… but that’s just me

  28. abninf says: Feb 13, 2011 10:45 PM

    SteelTown6 says: Feb 13, 2011 3:35 PM

    The price of Cowboys season tickets just went up …again.
    ————————————————

    And they’ll be sold out…. again.

  29. dkhhuey says: Feb 14, 2011 12:52 AM

    That ego on Jerry’s stretched face is getting bigger

  30. resqparamedic says: Feb 15, 2011 1:40 AM

    @ raven4life21

    Excellent post!

    I was one of the people affected by the seat deal. To all of you who say we’re money grubbing idiots, you don’t have a clue. I saved for this game, so I could go watch my team play. No one forced me too, but I spent a lot of money for this game.

    So here’s the deal. I went to the NFL Ticket Exchange the day before the game and purchased a $900 ticket, for $4500. That is a mark-up, by the NFL of 5 times the face value. They sold me that ticket 24 hours before the game. They sold that ticket to a seat they knew at least a week prior wasn’t going to exist.

    Then when I try to go to my seat, they tell me the seat is closed and that I need to go see the ticket window. When I get to the ticket window they direct myself and other to another window. That window then tells us to go somewhere else. This goes on and on. The entire time the NFL ticket people treat us like garbage.

    When they are asked to bring out a supervisor, they tell us, “No, it’s not going to happen.” They tell us the seating issue, is an unforeseen event. They even tell it to the man in the wheel chair, who had bleachers built over his wheelchair seating. What’s that, the powers to be had no idea bleachers were going to be built on the disabled mans spot? Oh, yeah, those seats just magically pop up. The NFL knew these seats weren’t going to be ready and still went on selling tickets for 5 times the face value then offered 3 times the face value to make up for their screw-up. Where does that seem right?

    Oh and on top of having the seats screwed up and being treated like garbage, they ran us in circles for over 2 hours. So any of the pre-game festivities that are associated with the Super Bowl and the overall experience were replaced with getting the run-around and told, “Too bad, but you’ll just have to deal with it.”

    So you can accuse the fans who were involved in this of whatever you want. But at the end of the day, I’m pretty sure that if it was your hard earned money that was lost, on top of being treated like crud, you’d have some hard feelings too and want your money back. The bottom line is, the NFL, Jerry Jones, or both screwed up. They sold tickets to seats that they knew wouldn’t exist and then tried to get out of it in a less than honorable way by screwing the fans, and that doesn’t wash.

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