The NFL and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones were in court on Thursday, requesting that a judge dismiss the Super Bowl seating lawsuit that seeks damages for ticket-holding football fans left seatless on game day.
While the NFL and Cowboys have technically offered to reimburse displaced fans, their argument that these measures go "beyond [their] contractual obligations" falls short.
They're called reliance damages.
The Super Bowl seating lawsuit, filed in February, was brought by a group of about 3,200 fans who were moved to new seats or forced to watch the game on a video screen after temporary seats at Cowboys Stadium were left uninstalled, reports The Kansas City Star.
Though the league offered to compensate the fans, the paper reports that they are still seeking between $4.5 million to $9.3 million in damages.
This is probably because they feel that they are also owed reliance damages on top of the offered refunds.
Reliance damages aim to put an injured party in the same position as if the contract had never been formed. A plaintiff may seek these damages if they suffered some loss after acting in reliance on the defendant's promise to fulfill a contractual obligation.
In other words, the fans are probably arguing that they relied on their tickets, the purchase of which arguably created a contract with the NFL/Cowboys, when they spent money on airfare, hotel rooms, rental fees, and food.
So, if the plaintiffs can successfully demonstrate that a contract existed and that they relied on its promises, they are likely to win the Super Bowl seating lawsuit.
- Cowboys want seating case tossed (Associated Press)
- Damages (FindLaw)
- Super Bowl Seating Lawsuit: Fans Sue NFL Over Seating Snafu (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)