In a decision made public Oct. 6, the New York Supreme Court has ruled that a suit can proceed against Ticketmaster and New York's Madison Square Garden for allegedly selling obstructed-view seats to

NASHVILLE -- In a decision made public Oct. 6, the New York Supreme Court has ruled that a suit can proceed against Ticketmaster and New York's Madison Square Garden for allegedly selling obstructed-view seats to concertgoers without their knowledge.

Dana Gross is seeking damages against Ticketmaster and MSG for selling her six $98.50 tickets to Michael Jackson's September 2001 30th-anniversary show without notifying her that the seats had an obstructed view of the stage. Gross filed suit in February 2002.

The court also granted a motion for class certification. As a class action, the suit potentially covers 7,840 ticket buyers for two concerts who, the ruling states, "received no advance notice that their seats were inadequate for viewing purposes."

The complaint includes allegations of deceptive business practices and breach of contract.

The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as an injunction to prohibit such practices in the future. If all potential claimants were to be refunded, compensatory damages would amount to as much as $784,000.

Obstructed-view seats, particularly for sold-out shows, are a common part of a ticket manifest. But New York state law requires that ticket buyers be informed if a seat is obstructed-view. The ruling states that an MSG executive indicated that the arena staff was aware of the obstructions before the concert in question.

Peter Agulnick, attorney for Gross, tells ELW he is "pleased with the decision of the court" but would not comment further.

Representatives for both Ticketmaster and MSG say seperately that they "do not comment on pending litigation."

No trial date has been set.

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