Deceptive Trade Practices In Dallas And Fort Worth

Consumers in Grand Prairie, Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, Mansfield, Irving, De Soto, Duncanville, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Mesquite, and other places in Texas recently got exposed to what can be called a violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. This argueably occurred at the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium.
An internet publication called the “Business Wire” ran an article on February 8, 2011. This article is titled, “Class Action Lawsuit Filed by Eagan Avenatti, LLP Against Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL over Treatment of Super Bowl Ticker Holders.” The lawsuit claims fraud on displaced fans and Cowboys Stadium “Founders.”
The article in part, tells us:
— Eagan Avenatti, LLP, a law firm specializing in consumer rights, filed a class action lawsuit earlier in the day in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, alleging breach of contract, fraud and deceptive sales practices by Jerry Jones, the National Football League, the Dallas Cowboys Football Club and related defendants in connection with Super Bowl XLV.
The complaint, which seeks compensary damages of over $5 Million, claims that the unlawful acts of Jones, the NFL and the Cowboys resulted in approximately 400 fans who purchased tickets and traveled to the game being denied a seat, despite having spent thousands of dollars in tickets and travel expenses to attend the Super Bowl. The complaint also alleges that Jones and the Cowboys deceived Cowboys season ticket holders known as the “Founders” into paying $1,200 a seat for Super Bowl tickets that turned out to be temporary seats with obstructed views.
The “Founders,” who collectively account for over $100 Million in personal seat licenses sold to help fund construction of the stadium, each paid at least $100,000 per seat for their seat license, which the Cowboys and Jones promised would entitle them to the “best sightlines in the stadium” and the right to purchase a ticket to the Super Bowl at face value. Instead, they arrived at the stadium to discover that they had been assigned to sit in obstructed view, temporary metal seats, which had only recently been installed in an effort to meet Jones’ goal of breaking NFL Super Bowl attendance records.
“You don’t have to own the Cowboys or run the NFL to know that you cannot lawfully treat people like this,” stated lead attorney Michael Avenatti. “At an absolute minimum, Jones, the Cowboys and the NFL need to accept full responsibility and reimburse fans one hundred percent for their expenses and damages. Anything short of that is a slap in the face to the fans of the NFL and the Cowboys.” —
The law that governs this type of wrong doing is found in part in the Texas Business & Commerce Code, Section 17.46.
Section (a) tells us, “False, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful and are subject to action by the consumer protection division under Sections 17.47, 17.58, 17.60, and 17.61 of this code.
Section (b) and it’s relevant subparts say:
(b) Except as provided in Subsection (d) of this section, the term “false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices” includes, but is not limited to, the following acts:

(5) representing that goods of services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities which they do not have …
(7) representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another; …
(9) advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised; …
(12) representing that an agreement confers or involves rights, remedies, or obligations which it does not have or involve, …
The above would be only a partial list of the legal claims that may be applied to the facts in the lawsuit mentioned above.
Section 17.50(b)(1) tells of the relief that may be available to the claimants above in the event they prevail after going all the way to a trial. It says:
(b) In a suit filed under this section, each consumer who prevails may obtain:
(1) the amount of economic damages found by the trier of fact. If the trier of fact finds that the conduct of the defendant was committed knowingly, the consumer may also recover damages for mental anguish, as found by the trier of fact, and the trier of fact may award not more than three times the amount of economic damages; or if the trier of fact finds the conduct was committed intentionally, the consumer may recover damages for mental anguish, as found by the trier of fact, and the trier of fact may award not more than three times the amount of damages for mental anguish and economic damages.
Violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act can be severe. Subsection (d) allows recovery of court costs and attorneys fees.
Any time a consumer believes a business has violated one of the provisions of the Act they should consult with an attorney who handles these types of cases.

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