A Houston Astros season ticket holder has filed a lawsuit against the team in the wake of the ongoing cheating scandal.
The lawsuit, filed in Harris County District Court, accuses the team of breach of contract, negligence, and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the Houston Chronicle reports. The season ticket holder is accusing the team of “deceptively overcharging (fans) for season tickets while defendants and their employees and representative knowingly and surreptitiously engaged in a sign stealing scheme…and secretly put a deficient product on the field that could result (and now has resulted) in severe penalties.”
Texas attorneys Mitchell A. Toups and Richard L. Coffman filed the suit for the Texas native Adam Wallach, who is seeking $1 million in damages for both partial and full season ticket holders from the 2017 to 2020 seasons. Additionally, the attorneys are seeking an order that would prohibit the Astros from increasing their season ticket prices over the next two years, calling on the “inappropriate increases in ticket prices” over the last four seasons.
Details of the sign stealing scandal first arose when publicly reported by The Athletic this past November, revealing that members of the Astros illegally stole signs of opposing teams using technology during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. According to former pitcher Mike Fiers, a video camera was used in center field to film the opposing catchers’ signs to pitchers, and players or staffers watching behind the dugout would signal to the batter which pitch was coming. After opening an investigation into the allegations this past January, the MLB found that the team illegally used a camera system to steal signs during the 2017 regular and post-season, where the team won the World Series, as well as the 2018 season.
Following the scandal, the Astros’ general manager Jeff Lunhnow and field manager A.J. Hinch were fired, with Dusty Baker set to take over the manager position for the 2020 season. The team was fined $5 million and were forced to forfeit their first and second-round picks of the 2020 and 2021 drafts.
While Wallach’s lawsuit is believed to be the first of its kind filed against the team from the scandal, a similar suit is seeking potential clients from the Corpus Christi law firm Hilliard Martinez Gonzales. The Astros are also facing two federal court cases for alleged fraud against daily fantasy league players, and the Houston team is named alongside the Red Sox in a suit from a Georgia man who had placed a bet for the Dodgers to win the World Series in 2018, but they lost to the Astros. Additionally, the team is solely named in a final suit from former Blue Jays pitcher Mike Bolsinger, who says he has not pitched in the major leagues after he was knocked out of a game by an Astros rally in 2017.