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Judge throws out one Super Bowl ticket lawsuit

Anastasia Danias AP

A lawsuit filed in federal court in Pittsburgh by fans who said the NFL defrauded them by selling them tickets for Super Bowl seats that didn’t exist has been thrown out.

The lawsuit was one of several suits brought by fans who bought tickets to the 2011 Super Bowl but found out when they got to the game that temporary seating at Cowboys Stadium hadn’t been completed.

U.S. District Judge David Cercone dismissed the fraud claim, saying the fans who brought the suit couldn’t prove that the NFL and the Cowboys intentionally defrauded them.

A trial in a case brought by hundreds of other ticket holders is scheduled to take place in Dallas in October.

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45 Responses to “Judge throws out one Super Bowl ticket lawsuit”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 18, 2013 3:13 PM

    Wow that seems hard to believe a lawyer couldn’t make that case. He/she must have not done enough investigate work, or he/she is an inadequate orator.

  2. bobby2478 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:16 PM

    Wait a sec, so let me get this straight. NFL sells tickets to the SuperBowl in Cowboys Stadium, the fans arrive with their tickets and have no seats because the “temporary seats” the Cowboys were planning to install weren’t completed yet, and the lawsuit gets dismissed?

    That’s like paying for a room on a cruise ship only to be told after you board that “all rooms are booked and you’ll have to sleep in the hallway”. And you aren’t able to sue because of it.

    Sounds like the fans are getting ripped off. The judge must have some influential people in the NFL or Cowboys in his back pocket

  3. vikings1packers0 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:20 PM

    Judges and Refs alike getting paid off by the NFL.

  4. vikings1packers0 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:22 PM

    Judges and Refs alike getting paid off by the NFL.
    Justice won’t prevail here.

  5. bucrightoff says: Mar 18, 2013 3:23 PM

    Remember when Jerry Jones hosted the wost Super Bowl ever? If there’s one thing Jerry knows, its how to be the worst.

  6. nineroutsider says: Mar 18, 2013 3:23 PM

    I would agree with that decision; the NFL didn’t intentionally defraud these fans. However, a ticket can be viewed as a legally binding contract, a contract that I feel the NFL violated by making these fans watch the game on a TV in the underbelly of JerrahWorld.

    They need to join the other lawsuit or bring a new lawsuit in the Texas court system (not federal) claiming that the NFL breached its contractual duties and is liable for all of their costs associated with going to that Super Bowl. The NFL has not made these fans whole and its ridiculous. The NFL can’t stand letting go of even $1 dollar, even if it means righting a wrong and building goodwill with their fans.

  7. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 18, 2013 3:24 PM

    They failed to read the fine print on the tickets which only guaranteed priority standing room in front of Ed’s T.V. & Appliance Store, three blocks south of the stadium.

  8. larryboodry says: Mar 18, 2013 3:24 PM

    Even without the fraud angle, you’d think the NFL and/or the Cowboys would voluntarily do right by all these folks and refund their money.

  9. S.Nevada says: Mar 18, 2013 3:24 PM

    Sounds like another corrupt, back room deal. The NFL is becoming Mafia-esque.

  10. vegagreenleaf says: Mar 18, 2013 3:25 PM

    Sounds like the attorney sued for the wrong reasons. Fraud requires a cognitive decision to mislead. Suing for actual damages (punitive too)at have worked better. It be interesting to see what the fine print said on those tickets…

  11. bobby2478 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:25 PM

    Judges are supposed to be non-partisan and their only job is to interpret and uphold the law. More and more, judges are becoming nothing more then other politicians. They look out for the people who support them and pay for their re-election campaigns, not the citizens who elect them.

    And because they technically aren’t part of a party, they are free to follow whatever party ideology they want without fear of being labeled as a member of any particular party.

    Even worse, Supreme Court justices aren’t even elected, they are appointed, and once they are in office you can’t make them leave.

  12. jimbo75025 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:27 PM

    The coming cases are going to be interesting.

    On one hand, that entire week in Dallas was screwed because of the weather. Sometimes you just cannot overcome it. You could not get around the city so the workers missed their deadlines.

    On the other hand, the fans got screwed but the NFL made a very generous offer with either cash compnsation or tickets/travel/hotel to a future event of their choosing.

    Personally, I would have problems seeing anyone getting paid millions on this lawsuit dueto the whole “act of God” aspect of this.

  13. stinemonster says: Mar 18, 2013 3:27 PM

    Wow

  14. patsfan15 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:28 PM

    If you guys actually read the article it was thrown out because they couldn’t prove the NFL they defrauded the customers intentionally…..reading is fun guys.

  15. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 18, 2013 3:33 PM

    Something stinks here….

    Our legal system at work! I guess there is some legal standard to met with the term ‘defraud’ that only lawyerspeak & judgespeak can understand & live by in an alternate pod-like universe rather than just treating people decently.

    The people should get back the ticket price & travel expenses at a minimum.

  16. rukkus1 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:35 PM

    What a demoralizing situation. Big business always wins over everyday people.

  17. keevel says: Mar 18, 2013 3:43 PM

    jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 18, 2013 3:33 PM

    The people should get back the ticket price & travel expenses at a minimum.
    ——————————————-
    People currently suing the NFL turned down that offer for the opportunity to try to sue for big money.

  18. jprcox says: Mar 18, 2013 3:48 PM

    You guys don’t understand, the issue wasn’t if the NFL was wrong, it was if they were committing fraud. To prove fraud is VERY hard, and you have to nearly have a memo or something from the NFL saying “lets make extra money by selling fans seats that dont exist”, and then not offer a refund.

    The NFL refunded 100% of the ticket sales here. Also, the Plaintiffs were seeking fraud so they could get 3x the damages.

  19. jpmelon says: Mar 18, 2013 3:49 PM

    The NFL isn’t guilty of fraud….they are certainly guilty of greed and stupidity, but that isn’t what was being discussed in this case. I agree with the judge.

  20. Deb says: Mar 18, 2013 3:50 PM

    Appeal!!! You sell tickets for seats that don’t exist and that’s not a deliberate intent to defraud??? Omigoodness!!! Something is rotten in the U.S. District Court!!

  21. nineroutsider says: Mar 18, 2013 3:52 PM

    @keevel says: Mar 18, 2013 3:43 PM

    jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 18, 2013 3:33 PM

    The people should get back the ticket price & travel expenses at a minimum.
    ——————————————-
    People currently suing the NFL turned down that offer for the opportunity to try to sue for big money.
    ————————————————

    Not really, what the NFL offered was a joke. It didn’t really even cover what people actually paid for these tickets, let alone all of the associated travel expenses. Just because you love the NFL doesn’t mean that you have to carry their cross for them. They make mistakes too and they should be held accountable.

  22. folkcrusader says: Mar 18, 2013 3:55 PM

    To prove fraud they would have had to produce some sort of evidence that they willfully mislead them. I think the Cowboys organization was negligent for sure, but I never saw anything that proved they were willfully misleading people.

    As in so many things, the organization just thought the fire inspector would fold to their will. He decided people’s safety was paramount to the NFL making a few more bucks. The Cowboys should have hired him, a guy that takes his job seriously could be of use there.

  23. randygnyc says: Mar 18, 2013 3:59 PM

    I believe that to establish fraud they need to show forethought and intention. There is no doubt the cowboys were incompetent, but they didn’t set out to intentionally defraud the fans. The cowboys are financially culpable. A good attorney should be able to recover the cost of the ticket and probably lodging and travel costs. I don’t see plaintiffs being granted punitive damages.

  24. cmonelisha says: Mar 18, 2013 4:00 PM

    i believe the nfl and jones offered these people free ticks to any superbowl of their choice or double the worth of the ticket or something..

    pretty much these fans got greedy and in turn..screwed themselves.

  25. bribos says: Mar 18, 2013 4:09 PM

    I’m with cmone…it seems to me that the Cowboys went out of their way the day of the game to accomodate everybody THAT WANTED TO BE ACCOMODATED. Natually, in the greedy ultra litigious society in which we live now you knew there would be situations like this. I’d like to see a case study of how many people saw the game, and then decided to sue after the fact. Everybody got their hand out…
    But, at the end of the day…it is Texas. Frontier justice and all. Jerry Jones gonna come out ahead no matter what.

  26. mogogo1 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:09 PM

    The real lawsuit would have come if Jerry Jones had gotten his way and these people would have been seated on those under-engineered temporary seats when they collapsed.

  27. sportsnut101 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:10 PM

    The nfl did offer 4 tickets to next yr Super Bowl plus cash plus reimbursement for Super Bowl u had no seats to plus u got to watch it for free. Sounds like money in the bank I know it sucked at that moment u got there. But these people chose to go for green when they see nfl lawsuit so this what happens

    This happened what two yrs ago good luck with lawyer fees

  28. anicra says: Mar 18, 2013 4:12 PM

    Offered 3 times the ticket cost refund plus North field club and/or a Ticket to any future Superbowl with airfair and hotel included?? The latter sounded like pretty good compensation

  29. boyshole25 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:18 PM

    This is the judicial System of America at its finest …. Fundamentally wrong, but wait loophole!

  30. briang123 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:21 PM

    They need fraud to claim punitive damages. Negligence only gets them their money back, and likely not all of it. The lawyers I’m sure sold their clients with the hope that a jury will see how rich the NFL is and sock them with punitive damages.

  31. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:27 PM

    I remember that Superbowl. The Packers won their 4th Lombardi, and NFL record 13th World Championship.

  32. roadtrip3500 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:30 PM

    bobby2478 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:16 PM

    Wait a sec, so let me get this straight. NFL sells tickets to the SuperBowl in Cowboys Stadium, the fans arrive with their tickets and have no seats because the “temporary seats” the Cowboys were planning to install weren’t completed yet, and the lawsuit gets dismissed?

    That’s like paying for a room on a cruise ship only to be told after you board that “all rooms are booked and you’ll have to sleep in the hallway”. And you aren’t able to sue because of it.
    ————————————
    Not quite the correct analogy.

    The seats were planned to exist but didn’t at gametime. The cruise ship analogy would be, you booked a room that was supposed to be added during ship renovations, but those new rooms were not completed in time for the boarding date. That is not fraud for missing a deadline… it would only be fraud if there were never any plans or intentions to add the seats (ship rooms) at all.

  33. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 18, 2013 4:37 PM

    Well here is the quote from the legal filing…

    “The ticket holders’ filing said there is nothing on record to prove that all eligible fans received settlement offers from the NFL. Moreover, the offers had too many strings attached, including caps on the amount of compensation for meals and lodging, the filing said.”

    Plus its my understanding defendents are suing for lost income also.

    Without more details & first hand knowledge its hard to determine what is true. Bottom line these people should be compensated for whatever they gave up and actually spent for the trip, no limits. Giving them obstucted seats, standing room or TV monitors to watch the game is a joke.

    There is just no excuse regarding the Cowboys trying to get permits for the seating right up to the day of game. Thats unacceptible if you were actually expecting to fufill on the contract of the ticket sale. I haven’t heard of any earthquake or tornado that impacted the construction so it smacks of incompetent planning, which isn’t outright fraud but maybe negligence.

    Real bush league & lousy treatment of the fans however you look at it.

  34. lovetron says: Mar 18, 2013 4:45 PM

    I think some people are missing the point here. I don’t think any reasonable person — the judge included — would dispute that wrong was done here. It’s a different hill of beans altogether to claim that there was intentional FRAUD, which is the presupposition upon which this entire case is built. Cases such as these often involve overly amitious lawyers, and plaintiffs who take themselves WAY too seriously. I seem to recall Jerruh acknowledging fault and attempting to make amends with those who were displaced (refunds, reimbursements, credits, etc.). But there’s always the wingnut contingent out there that seems to think they’re entitled to MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars because of a mix-up. So the lawyer pursues the FRAUD angle because there are stiffer penalties (read:MORE MONEY). This is the legal system WORKING, folks!

  35. ravenatorridestheshortbus says: Mar 18, 2013 5:00 PM

    Jerry has more people in his pocket than we know… as I recall, didn’t some of these people get told there were no seats for them and didn’t let them in? Sorry, but don’t sell seats you don’t have.

  36. GenXJay says: Mar 18, 2013 5:09 PM

    Yeah, if i were a steelbeefcurtain fan, i would sue too. I’m sure the Moldy Cheese cheated somewhere in that game.

  37. stellarperformance says: Mar 18, 2013 5:16 PM

    These fans pursued the wrong angle. When told that the temporary seating was not yet complete, they should have maintained that the resulting anger was so intense it caused them to have a non-contact concussion. Those suits go through like a hot knife through butter.

  38. Deb says: Mar 18, 2013 5:23 PM

    Yes, yes, yes … the law is all about intent. They intended to install temporary seats but didn’t get around to it before gametime. So there was no intent to defraud. I understand that’s how we’re supposed to look at this. I just disagree.

    When you book a seat on a flight, you understand that the airline overbooks and you may be bumped. When you spend a small fortune to attend the Super Bowl, there’s no similar understanding that the stadium might no have gotten around to installing your seats! The Cowboys and NFL were negligent and those people lost more than the price of their tickets and airline reservations. The league tried to short-change them, and they’re entitled to a higher level of compensation. No, I don’t believe in frivolous lawsuits. But I believe the Cowboys and the League should pay up on this one. They’ve gouged the fans long enough.

  39. xtb3 says: Mar 18, 2013 5:33 PM

    When the law has no law, there is no justice.

  40. phillyphannn83 says: Mar 18, 2013 5:58 PM

    Why did they have to prove it was intentional? They sold them tickets to seats that weren’t there. It undeniable. Why does the league or Jerry’s intentions have anything to do with it? They’re seats weren’t there, they should be compensated. End of story.

    Oh wait. Our system is broken so of course its not that simple.

  41. dontcareforu says: Mar 18, 2013 7:46 PM

    just another reason why I stay at home to watch the game on my 55″ HD television, supplied by The Great Time Warner Cable Company. BTW, TW….thanks for getting NFLN after months of BS!!

  42. mancave001 says: Mar 18, 2013 8:16 PM

    “Even without the fraud angle, you’d think the NFL and/or the Cowboys would voluntarily do right by all these folks and refund their money.”

    ——

    They did more than that. They offered like $2,500 and a free future SB, and I think travel costs as well. I personally think that’s low, but it’s not like they told them to pound sand.

  43. shzastl says: Mar 18, 2013 8:38 PM

    The reason they needed to prove intent is that federal courts can only hear cases when there is a minimum claim of $75k at issue. If the NFL intentionally defrauded these people, that could support a claim for punitive damages, which would take it over the $75k threshold. Without the fraud, the plaintiffs can only recover their economic losses, i.e., cost of tickets, travel expenses, etc., which does not begin to approach the magic number. So the judge is basically saying you can now go have a trial in PA state court over the economic losses.

  44. jchuber says: Mar 19, 2013 11:39 AM

    Nothing new here ! Just the nfl screwing the fans again. If anyone hasn/t figured that the nfl and the owners main objective is money, and they are allways screwing the fans and the players, better wake up and smell the coffee.

    Oh yea, please buy a $100.00 jersey to support the poor nfl.

  45. woodley56 says: Mar 20, 2013 1:52 PM

    mogogo1 says:
    Mar 18, 2013 4:09 PM
    The real lawsuit would have come if Jerry Jones had gotten his way and these people would have been seated on those under-engineered temporary seats when they collapsed
    ———————————————–
    Exactly and they were offered ALOT of compensation…fueled by greed.
    Don’t get me wrong i’m sure it’s a bit emotional for most of those folks…ruined their SB experience but dang they were offered alot, they acted like the NFL/Cowboys told them too bad so sad…..Wake up people!!!

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