Viagogo is hoping to keep a Florida lawsuit from being certified as a nationwide class action, according to court filings. The secondary ticket resale marketplace, headquartered in Switzerland, has seen several lawsuits filed against it and StubHub, which it purchased in 2020, over refunds related to events that were postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lauren Shiflett filed her lawsuit in 2020 after purchasing tickets to see Tool on the website. After initially postponing the tour in March, the band decided in June to cancel it entirely. At the time, the decision was said to be related specifically to the bands desire to allow their fans to get their money back rather than hold onto the funds indefinitely via postponements. Viagogo and StubHub opted to not offer a cash refund to those who had purchased tickets on their marketplaces, offering instead a credit good for future purchases except in states where a refund was required by law.
Her lawsuit accuses Viagogo of breach of contract and unjust enrichment, and violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Viagogo had tried to have the suit dismissed entirely, but was unsuccessful in that effort. The latest filings are an attempt by the company to keep the suit from being certified as a class action, in both Florida and the United States as a whole.
From Complete Music Update:
In a new legal filing, Viagogo presents an assortment of arguments as to why the court should deny that request.
That includes the fact that Viagogo customers with tickets to COVID-affected events have often been offered a voucher worth 125% of the original ticket purchase, and the court would need to identify which class members would prefer to take the voucher than a cash refund. And also that Shiflett has not, it reckons, provided sufficient analysis of the impact different state laws around the US could have on the claims of any nationwide class.
“This court must perform a ‘rigorous analysis’ to determine whether plaintiff met her evidentiary burden in demonstrating that class treatment is appropriate”, the ticket resale firm says in its new legal filing, before boldly stating: “Plaintiff fails this rigorous analysis”.
The lawsuit is one of several that have been filed in relation to refunds for events in the pandemic. Vivid Seats recently proposed a $7.5 million settlement over similar claims.