Consumers have recently filed several class actions related to their inability to use or obtain a refund for services no longer offered following the implementation of government restrictions. Such lawsuits have been filed in the context of gym memberships, student housing, and festival tickets, among others.
On March 26, 2020, one such putative class action was filed in the Southern District of New York against Town Sports International, LLC, the company operating the prominent gym franchise New York Sports Club (NYSC), for failing to suspend or credit membership fees during New York’s shutdown. Similar class actions also recently targeted other prominent gym franchises. Class actions were filed against 24 Hour Fitness in the Northern District of California on March 27, 2020 in Labib v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., Case No. 4:20-cv-02134, and against LA Fitness in the Southern District of Florida on March 30, 2020 in Barnett v. Fitness International, LLC, Case No. 0:20-CV-60658.
Another putative class action was filed on March 27, 2020 in the District of Arizona against the Arizona Board of Regents, the agency that governs Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University. The class action, Rosenkrantz v. Arizona Board of Regents, Case No. 2:20-CV-00613, alleges that the agency failed to offer refunds to students for unused portions of their fees for room and board or on-campus services no longer available after universities shifted to online learning.
Yet another putative class action was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on March 24, 2020 against the Do LaB, Inc., which organizes and runs the annual Lightning In A Bottle music festival in the Central Valley region of California. The organizer recently cancelled the festival, scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend 2020, due to government mandates prohibiting large public gatherings. The class action, Rutledge v. Do LaB, Inc., Temporary Case No. E124175132, alleges that the organizer improperly failed to issue refunds for festival tickets.
Defendants are defending by pointing to their agreements for terms regarding refunds, cancellation or termination policies, automatic billing arrangements, warranty and guarantee provisions, class action waivers, and arbitration agreements.
This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.