August 25, 2015 | By McCathern Law
A group of Super Bowl XLV ticket holders have laid out their reasons for appealing March’s jury award of less than $76,000.
The lawsuit — four years in the making — was filed after 1,200 seats at Cowboys Stadium could not be completed in time for the 2011 Super Bowl. Some ticket holders were moved to different and sometimes inferior seats, while others never received seats for the game. Some ticket holders also argued that they received obstructed-view seats.
The 48-page brief filed Friday contested various decisions made by the trial judge, from rulings several years ago to a disagreement on jury instructions in the spring.
Plaintiffs contend the case should have been certified as a class-action lawsuit, which would have allowed attorneys to represent everyone affected by the seating troubles rather than having to sign up each individually.
Class-action lawsuits also are commonly used in cases with large numbers of plaintiffs, such as victims of defective medical devices or customers who were overcharged, that make it difficult to reach everyone.
The judge also ruled that individual damage issues were the main part of the case. In class-action suits, damages tend to be similar among the plaintiffs. “The fact that class members may have suffered different amounts of damage does not preclude class certification,” the ticket holders’ attorneys argued in the brief.
The attorneys are also fighting the judge’s decision to dismiss most fraud claims against the NFL, dismiss all claims that defendants violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and all claims against the Dallas Cowboys.
The brief noted that the Cowboys, as the host team, received 5 percent of Super Bowl tickets to resell. Also, some invoices listed Cowboys Stadium L.P. as the seller and requested that payments be made to the Cowboys.
Levi McCathern, an attorney for the Dallas Cowboys, said the Cowboys will respond in a future court filing.
“We are confident Judge [Barbara] Lynn’s rulings will be upheld,” McCathern wrote in an email.
Thad Behrens, lead counsel for the NFL, also had no comment and said he would respond in court filings.
The plaintiffs’ brief also argues that jurors should have received instructions about “fraud by nondisclosure” and that Lynn made a mistake when she determined jurors couldn’t consider punitive damages.
Another set of lawsuits related to the Super Bowl XLV problems is still pending.
The Dallas Morning News, 25 August 2015 11:24 PM