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Displaced Super Bowl attendees given time to consider settlement

The judge in a $5 million class action lawsuit against the National Football League ruled on February 28 that plaintiffs will have at least an extra 60 days to consider accepting a settlement offer from the league. The plaintiffs' attorney called the ruling a "big win for the fans" of the NFL.

The plaintiffs all planned to attend Super Bowl XLV, held in Dallas, Texas in early February. Despite having valid tickets, around 2,500 people were affected by seating problems during the game. Some people were diverted to seats much further away than what they paid for, or were taken to rooms to watch the game on TV. Some people complained that the seats they were given were not properly put together, with loose bolts and other problems.

Many of the disappointed fans joined together to file a class-action suit against the league and the host team, the Dallas Cowboys. The NFL has offered to money and other items, including tickets, to the fans in an attempt to settle. The February 28 ruling, delivered in U.S. District Court in Dallas, gives the individual plaintiffs more time to consider whether to accept the offer or continue in the lawsuit. The judge also ordered the NFL to provide more information about the terms of its settlement offers.

In an article in USA TODAY, the attorney for the plaintiffs praised the ruling. In a statement, he said the offers do not come close to compensating the fans under Texas law. He said the league is acting too tough in negotiations, which this ruling would help relieve. Ironically, the attorney attended the Super Bowl himself, but his seats were not affected.

Source: USA TODAY, "Judge orders NFL to give fans involved in Super Bowl lawsuit more time, information," Arin Karimian, February 28, 2011

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