As Super Bowl XLVI approaches, an embarrassing situation for the NFL regarding Super Bowl XLV still lingers.
And it possibly will linger for many more months.
On Wednesday, Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn denied an effort by the league and the Cowboys to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed by fans who showed up at Cowboys Stadium to find there weren’t chairs to go along with their tickets, due to an inability to complete the installation of temporary seating. Specifically, Judge Lynn has allowed the breach of contract claim to proceed.
Per the Associated Press, the 10-page order concludes that the plaintiffs could be eligible for compensation far beyond that which the NFL offered in the wake of the debacle.
In response, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy tells PFT that the league’s offers to the fans exceeded what the law allows.
“For months, the NFL has attempted legal maneuver after legal maneuver to deny the fans what they are entitled to,” said Michael Avenatti of Eagan Avenatti, LLP, lead counsel for the displaced fans, in a statement released to PFT. “But in litigation, much like in football, you have to play four quarters. Now that the Court has ruled, we look forward to learning from the executives of the NFL what they knew before the game and what they did about it, if anything.”
Avenatti is referring to the discovery process, which will entail a series of depositions of high-level officials from the league office.
Other ancillary claims made by the plaintiffs were dismissed. Avenatti said that Judge Lynn has allowed two of the other claims to be re-filed in a manner that complies with applicable requirements. The NFL undoubtedly will file a new motion to dismiss those claims, once they are re-filed.
And so the process will continue to drag out, with the only question being whether this case will be resolved before the next Super Bowl that is played in Cowboys Stadium.