The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Pro Sports

July 10, 2013

Class status denied in Super Bowl seating lawsuit

ARLINGTON, Texas — A judge on Tuesday denied class-action status in a lawsuit filed by ticket-holders who were displaced when seats weren't properly installed for the 2011 Super Bowl in Texas.

The ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn denied class-action status to fans who were denied seats, those who were moved to other seats and people who claim they had obstructed views that weren't disclosed on the tickets.

About 1,250 temporary seats at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington were deemed unsafe just hours before the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. That forced about 850 ticket-holders to move to new seats and 400 others to watch from standing-room locations.

Lynn ruled that the plaintiffs failed to prove that the number of people suing was large enough to require that common issues prevailed over individual concerns. The ruling also said there wasn't a universal way to calculate damages because fans incurred different expenses.

"The Court, therefore, concludes that the variation in the materiality of the omissions combined with the individual questions of reliance and damages predominate over common issues," the ruling stated in denying class status for fans with obstructed-view seats.

The NFL said it was pleased with a ruling "refusing to certify any class in this case."

Plaintiffs attorney Michael Avenatti said he would move on with individual breach of contract lawsuits.

"We are disappointed with the Court's ruling but look forward to representing hundreds of our clients this year in the trials against the NFL," Avenatti said. "During those trials, we will prove that the NFL defrauded its fans."

Last year, Lynn dismissed the Dallas Cowboys as a defendant in the lawsuit, ruling that the tickets were a contract between the buyers and the NFL.

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