New York Supreme Court Judge Herman Cahn ruled yesterday (Oct. 6) that a suit can proceed against Ticketmaster and New York's Madison Square Garden for allegedly selling obstructed-view seats to conce
New York Supreme Court Judge Herman Cahn ruled yesterday (Oct. 6) 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.
Cahn also granted a motion for class certification for the case. As a class action, the suit potentially covers 7,840 ticket buyers for two concerts who, Cahn says, "received no advance notice that their seats were inadequate for viewing purposes."
Cahn has allowed the case to go forward on complaints that include deceptive business practices and breach of contract. The suit also asks for an injunction to prohibit such practices in the future. No trial date has been set.
The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. 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 ticket buyers to be informed if a seat is obstructed-view. Cahn's opinion says an MSG executive indicated that the staff at the arena was aware of the obstructions before the concert in question.
Peter Agulnick, attorney for Gross, tells Billboard.biz he's "pleased with the decision of the court" but would not comment further. Representatives for both Ticketmaster and MSG say seperately, "We do not comment on pending litigation."