CONSUMER LAW
Live events sector

 

Ticketnews.com reports that former Ticketmaster customers who had signed onto a class-action lawsuit against Ticketmaster for charging excessive processing and shipping fees will have to wait a little while longer to receive their compensation, after Los Angeles Superior Court judge Kenneth Freeman rejected a proposed settlement agreement between Ticketmaster and the class-action plaintiffs’ attorneys, which included a $16.5 million payment to the plaintiff’s lawyers. More than 50 million class members would have received coupons from Ticketmaster in the amount of $1.50 to offset the overcharges in processing fees, while a smaller subclass of plaintiffs would receive $5.00 vouchers for overcharges in shipping fees. The lawsuit was filed prior to the enactment of the “Class Action Fairness Act,” which allows federal courts to use greater discretion in the awarding of attorneys’ fees and payouts to class members

According to the plaintiff’ s claim, from the years 1999-2011, Ticketmaster took in roughly $590 million in charged shipping and processing fees, with only $165 million used to off-set actual costs. Ticketmaster, the suit argues, profited to the tune of $425 million over the twelve year period.

However, Judge Freeman wrote that “In the court’s opinion, this settlement represents a windfall for Ticketmaster and does not represent ‘real value’ for class members.” The proposed $1.50 vouchers were found to not accurately represent what each class member lost through their dealings with Ticketmaster. In addition, the plaintiffs attempted to reach all of the estimated 50.7 million class members via their e-mail addresses and found nearly 20 percent of the addresses to no longer be active. Judge Freeman found the large number of undelivered e-mails to be “of significant concern to the court.”  Both sides must now go back to the negotiating table to see if a viable deal can be worked out   http://www.ticketnews.com/news/ticketmaster-class-action-settlement-rejected101208456?utm_source=email&utm_medium=2012-01-26