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Live Nation, Vivid Seats Sued for Coronavirus Refunds

April 23, 2020, 6:09 PM

Live Nation Entertainment Inc., its subsidiary Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc., and Vivid Seats LLC were hit with suits in the Northern District of Illinois for failing to issue full refunds for shows canceled due to the coronavirus.

In the suit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster, the plaintiffs allege Live Nation announced April 13, 2020, that it would not issue refunds for events that were postponed or rescheduled at the discretion of the event promoter.

After a public outcry, the plaintiffs allege Live Nation announced they would begin to provide refunds, on a rolling basis, for all events affected by Covid-19.

But the plaintiffs allege the new policy will give fans 30 days to request a refund for shows rescheduled for a specific date in the future. This would allow the company to retain all funds associated with “postponed” events until a triggering event of its own choosing takes place, the plaintiffs say.

In the separate suit against Vivid, a proposed class of purchasers allege the ticket reseller violated its 100% guarantee by failing to provide a full cash refund for all amounts including fees paid for tickets to canceled or constructively canceled events for which there is no rescheduled date.

Suits seeking refunds after cancellations due to Covid-19 are targeting different industries, including entertainment, sports, travel, and education.

The suits come on the heels of similar claims against Major League Baseball after the season was suspended. And suits against multiple airlines seeking refunds for canceled flights continue to be filed.

Causes of Action: Violation of the Illinois Ticket Sale and Resale Act, the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, the Ticket Sale and Resale Act, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, conversion, breach of contract.

Relief: Declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.

Potential Class Size: The plaintiffs estimate a class of at least tens of thousands of ticket purchasers in each of the suits.

Response: The defendants didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

Attorneys: Liddle & Dubin PC represents the plaintiffs in both suits.

The cases are Nellis v. Vivid Seats LLC, N.D. Ill., No. 20-cv-02486, 4/23/20; Tezak v. Live Nation Entm’t Inc., N.D. Ill., No. 20-cv-02482, 4/23/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Hayes in Washington at PHayes@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com

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