The Los Angeles Unified School District has been ordered to pay $370,000 to a group of season-ticket holders who were confused and upset when they went to purchase season tickets at rival schools, only to be charged hundreds of dollars more than the school they wanted to go to.
The lawsuit filed by Los Angeles attorney Keith Davidson was announced Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorneys representing Verdugo Hills High School varsity baseball and football players and other football and baseball players. The lawsuit alleged that LAUSD used “deceptively overcharging” season-ticket holders after school officials changed from year-to-year.
Since 2011, the LAUSD has been paying more than $19 million to 13 schools to purchase season tickets. Since 2015, eight schools have increased the cost of season tickets from $350 to $400.
The other four schools also switched between season tickets and using the old system. The Chatsworth and Granada Hills baseball teams switched from buying season tickets to selling home games.
“The varsity football and baseball players were confused and upset, especially since they know that fans and families of opposing teams come to support those programs,” the lawsuit said. “The students did not consider it right, but they too were taken advantage of when they felt that they were being overcharged for their tickets.”
The lawsuit is naming the varsity football and baseball teams at Verdugo Hills, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Cleveland, Sierra Canyon, Palisades, Wilson, Birmingham, L.A. University and George Washington.
In the lawsuit, attorneys say the LAUSD has committed fraud, breach of contract and breach of loyalty for giving students “no choice of seats,” offering “a virtually non-existent level of transparency” and taking advantage of “potentially distressed families with children who are struggling with financial hardships.”
Davidson represents several families who bought season tickets in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2015. It is possible that some of the season-ticket holders didn’t notice the price increase, and attorneys are still investigating who may have been charged more money.
A statement from the district read, “We are disappointed that a group of one of our school district’s baseball teams has been sued. We are aware of the lawsuit and plan to respond to the litigation accordingly. The LAUSD was not made aware that a lawsuit was being threatened or that any party was being issued a notice of intent to sue.”