NFL, Cowboys hit with class-action suits
The NFL has offered generous compensation packages to fans who were shut out of Sunday's Super Bowl XLV in an unprecedented ticket snafu, but some fans are demanding a lot more and are willing to go through the courts to get what they're asking.
In what could be the beginning of a wave of lawsuits filed in the wake of Sunday's ticket problems, two suits have been filed during the past two days. The first was filed Tuesday after the NFL offered about 400 fans, who couldn't attend the game because of seating problems, free tickets to next year's game in Indianapolis, as well as three times the face value of the tickets for Sunday's game. The second was filed Wednesday.
In the Dallas County case filed Tuesday, plaintiffs Ken Laffin and David Wanta, both Packers fans from the Green Bay area, claim they were "damaged by the defendants' misrepresentations, omissions, and concealment of the cruel truth, which was that they had been sold tickets for seats that did not exist at the time and that were never to be had," according to their attorney from the Dallas-based firm of Goldfarb Branham.
In the federal case filed Wednesday in Dallas, plaintiff Mike Dolabi has sued on behalf of himself and other fans who said they had paid at least $100,000 for personal seat licenses (PSLs) at Cowboys Stadium and were promised seats at Super Bowl XLV with "the best sightlines in the stadium," according to the complaint. Dolabi and several other fans showed up at the stadium and found that their seats were "temporary metal foldout chairs" installed in an attempt to break a Super Bowl attendance record, according to the complaint.
The league, the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones are being sued by Dolabi and Steve Simms for breach of contract, fraud, breach of good faith and violating Texas' deceptive trade practices law. The plaintiffs are seeking more than $5 million in damages, which can be tripled under the state's trade law. Dolabi claimed that the NFL and Jones were only interested in setting a Super Bowl attendance record.