March 4, 2011

Super Bowl ruined for some in Dallas

Filed under: Sports Law — Giorgio Varlaro @ 3:17 am

A very interesting story which hit sports newsstands on Tuesday has now turned into a class action lawsuit on Wednesday after Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the National Football League had to move numerous Super Bowl ticket purchasers from a temporary seating area on the field because the seats were deemed unsafe.

The lawsuit has accusations of fraud and breach of contract with a man from Texas (Mike Dolabi) and a man from Pennsylvania (Steve Simms) as the plaintiffs who were looking for damages for $5 million. Both argue that the seats offered to them at first were guaranteed to be “comparable quality” for the Super Bowl.

Michael Avenatti, the plaintiffs lawyers stated, “He (Mike Dolabi) didn’t expect to sit on the 50-yard-line but he sat at the 10-yard-line under an overhang with no view of the video board that the Cowboys and Jerry Jones say is one of the best things about Cowboys Stadium. In fact, he was effectively put into a cave.”

Furthermore, the court papers say the Cowboys did not disclose that the plaintiffs would be sitting in fold-out metal chairs with obstructed views. A Cowboys letter to the plaintiffs last month offered the “best available seats” from the allotment provided by the league.

It should also be noted that the 400 fans who did not receive their original purchased seats were offered two remedies by the NFL, a free ticket to next year’s Super Bowl (worth three times the face value) or a free ticket to a future Super Bowl of the fans choice (which includes round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations provided by the NFL).

From the information provided, do the many potential plaintiffs have a case against Jerry Jones and the National Football League? Did both of the defendants breach their contract with the plaintiffs or duty? Do you feel that what was offered as a remedy is enough to quiet some of the potential plaintiffs who did get to watch Super Bowl XLV?


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