Can Jilted Runners Sue NYC Marathon for Refunds? - Tarnished Twenty
Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Can Jilted Runners Sue NYC Marathon for Refunds?

The New York City marathon that was to be held this past Sunday was cancelled due to Superstorm Sandy. Some disappointed runners may now be contemplating bringing a lawsuit against the marathon organizers.

Runners from around the world flew into New York City to take part in the race. Along with paying for the cost of travel and lodging, these contestants also paid marathon fees and other expenses.

But the organizers of the race, New York Road Runners (NYRR), are sticking to their no-refund policy, the Associated Press reports. That means these racers may not get a penny back, despite there not even being an event for them to participate in.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg cancelled the marathon Friday. The NYRR had decided to go forward with the marathon following Hurricane Sandy earlier in the week, but there was growing criticism that it was wrong to hold the race while the region was still recovering from the disaster, reports the AP.

The 47,500 runners who had been expected to take part in 2012's New York Marathon will now have to wait until next year. This was the first cancellation of the marathon, which was neither postponed nor cancelled after the 9/11 attacks.

So far, the NYRR says it is sticking to its policy of no refunds for the runners (here's a link to the NYRR's Terms and Conditions for the race), but will guarantee entry to next year's marathon, reports the AP. Entry fees typically ranged from $216 to $347.

Whether the runners have a viable claim to sue the NYRR for their entry fees may depend upon the agreement they signed with the organizers. If the runners consented to the no-refund policy, they're likely out of luck.

November 12, 2012 Editor's Note: This post has been corrected to reflect that the New York City Marathon was neither postponed nor cancelled after 9/11.

Related Resources: