Super Bowl Lawsuit Plaintiffs Speak Out

By Jack Fink, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Ken Laffin of Wausau, Wisc. Said he spent about $7,000 to watch Super Bowl 45 with friends at Cowboys Stadium.

“We were excited,” he said. “I can’t tell you how excited we were.”

But Laffin said that excitement quickly faded when they were among the more than 1,200 fans whose temporary seats were ruled unsafe to sit in. While most got new seats, 400 fans, including Laffin, didn’t.

He said he had to stand the entire game without seeing the action on the field. He’s now the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in Dallas County against the NFL and Dallas Cowboys.

“They sold us a ticket to a seat that didn’t exist and, to me, that’s fraud,” Laffin said.

The Cowboys and the NFL declined to comment on the lawsuits. But the league said its senior vice presidents are reaching out to the 400 fans who couldn’t get seats despite having tickets.

The NFL has offered two options: A free ticket to next year’s Super Bowl plus $2,400 – three times the face value of their ticket – or a free ticket to a Super Bowl of their choice and roundtrip airfare with four nights in a hotel.

“It’s beyond simply, oh, go to the next Super Bowl, because that’s not about this,” said Trey Branham, a Dallas-based attorney who represents Laffin. “This was a once in a lifetime event for Packers and Steelers fans.”

A separate, federal lawsuit filed against the NFL, Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones seeks $5 million in damages. Steve Simms, a lifelong Steeler fan from Pennsylvania, said he also went to the game and couldn’t get a seat.

“It was depressing. I wanted to be out there and see that,” he said. “If I wanted to watch that game in a bar on a TV monitor, which is basically what we were doing, I would have stayed home.”

Even though Laffin’s team one, he said he shares the sense of loss.

“I could have watched anywhere in the world better than I watched it at Dallas Cowboys Stadium,” Laffin said.

Arlington resident Mike Dolabi, another plaintiff in the federal lawsuit, is one of the stadium “founders” who paid $100,000 for a personal seat license for Cowboys home games, entitling him to the best sightlines in the stadium and the right to buy a Super Bowl ticket at face value.

But Dolabi and others complain the Super Bowl seats were obstructed and inadequate and lacked a reasonable view of the video board.

“All we’re attempting to do is have the NFL, the Cowboys and Jerry Jones stand up and do the right thing,” said California attorney Michael Avenatti.

Both lawsuits are seeking class-action status.


One Comment

  1. DallasGuy says:

    Class action lawsuit = millions of dollars for the lawyers, and you will get a free coupon for popcorn at the next Superbowl.

  2. Dallas says:

    “Even though Laffin’s team one, he said he shares the sense of loss” lol spell check i think its his team won just sayin lol wow

  3. Belle says:

    DallasGuy has it exactly right, Plaintiffs. The Plaintiffs’ lawyers will get lots of money and Plaintiffs will be left with, well, not much. Think about it before you file a lawsuit. You may want to settle. Take that offer for another Super Bowl ticket.

  4. advisor says:

    If all you have in your life is football…that’s sad. If you have the time to go to court over missing a game….you need more than anything you could gain from a lawsuit ….you need god and a life of true meaning. God help these lost people find a life worthy of your blessings.

    1. dancer2822 says:

      The big question is do they know how long it will be before they get NOTHING !!!
      You will miss the Next 3 SUPER BOWLS !! Real classic move guys…..LOL!!!!!!

    2. MeanMug says:

      Advisor, your a moran,

      Please God help us from this greedy cartel capable of mass propaganda and exploitation that is the NFL.

      ………… sure football is only a game, but the law is real and it is in place to serve justice.

      1. Tommy Tong says:

        “Advisor, your a moran,”

        Oh, the irony of this statement. No, you’RE the morOn.

    3. Barak says:

      advisor…get a job, make youself useful.

    4. les says:

      what does god have to do with this !!!!!!!!!!!

    5. J. Jones says:

      Judge not let ye be judged! You seem a little self rightous!!!

  5. Barak says:

    It said in the ariticle that “his team one.” Now come on, isn’t it “his team won.” I guess we all make mistakes two, LOL! But the writer of this article is supposed to be a professional!

  6. bigdman says:

    If these people could afford to buy the tickets and go to the game and all the expenses connected to it, then they don’t need the money they are going after. What they spent to get here, tickets included, is the equivilent of 3 months wages for me. They were ripped off, but I don’t feel sorry for them.

  7. daniel for fortworth says:

    stop trying to blame jerry and the boys it was all the NFL’s fault they come in and take over everything to include its daily operations at the stadium they use for the superbowl so dont blame anyone else for being taken to the cleaners suck it up things happen and if the NFL would have listened the week before those fan would have had seats to sit in. take the deal go to any superbowl and have four days paid by the NFL its a nice settlement i would take it.

  8. Kristan says:

    GET OVER IT!!!!!! Guess if they win the lawsuit, they can buy some more cheese for their whine! Hope they put in there the cost of all the alcohol they had to drink to forget thier problem!!!

  9. Tim says:

    Yes, I think the Super Bowl hype is silly.

    Yes, footbal is just a game.

    But yes, the fans who were denied seats after purchasing a ticket were defrauded, and yes, this was a once-in-a-lifetime matchup for these fans. There is a hubris by the Cowboys and the NFL that played a part in this fraud, so the fans not only have the right to sue, they can claim they’re acting on behalf of fans everywhere who could be defrauded in the future.

    Will this lawsuit achieve world peace? Of course not. But it may be the only way Jones and the NFL will listen to reason.

  10. Brian Cuban says:

    You linked to the wrong lawsuit. You linked to the federal suit while referencing the state court litigation.

  11. M says:

    Does anyone commenting realize how they would have felt if they spent the close to $4-5000 to go to this game and get snuffed by Jerry over an attendance record? This is why people hate the cowboys and Jerry jones… They have no class and second they are absolutely terrible, for real?? Romo cya at the super bowl?? He’ll I woulda settled for playoffs… And does no one else think jerry jones looks like a fake plastic old porn creep? The “thing” is about the most pathetic creature alive, alright cowboys fans.. Rip on me, but I still get last laugh ur team is pathetic.. Btw y r people complaining about the spelling and not the real issue? Go !?><~! urselves

    1. mtntexas says:

      How exactly do you have sex with yourself? Is that something that you have a lot of experience with? Lay off of JJ… he’s got more classin his little finger than you’ve got in your family tree.

  12. SC says:

    Maybe the people will win the lawsuit and cause Jerry Jones to go bankrupt, then we may get a new owner for the Cowboys

  13. DB says:

    I do feel for the plaintiffs as this was probably a once in a lifetime event for fans of either team. However a class action lawsuit only feeds the pocketbooks of abulance chasing bottom feeders and drains the pockets of taxpayers. Ordered arbitration is the way to handle this. Maybe the better solution would have been to duct tape and bailing wire those last 1200 seats and hope for the best?

  14. DB says:

    Let’s see…
    $5,000,000/400(+however many “founders” participate in the lawsuit) – ambulance chasing bottom feeders take = You oughta take the NFLs offer.
    Not really advanced math.

  15. Kim Dar says:

    I wouldn’t have spent that much money to see any football game regardless of who was playing or where it was. God did give me some sense. $7,500 is almost 7 months salary for me and would have done a lot in my life by paying off my vehicle and I would have had more money to buy groceries and pay bills without having to stuggle. Also I would have been able to help those who are in my office at the non-profit I work for every day looking for someone to help with their electric bills, water bills and rent. Now that would have made a difference not only in my life, but the lives of a bunch of others..

  16. Iknowfraud says:

    This was fraud from the beginning, selling seats that didn’t exists.

    1. DB says:

      I don’t know. If you sell a house you’re building, is it fraud?

  17. BlessAmerica says:

    How about a law suit over hacking “God Bless America”.

    1. DB says:

      Most of us would be defendants in that suit I’m afraid.

  18. Mr HorseHead says:

    One last thing…you say this was a once in a lifetime chance,,do you not have faith in the Packers to make it to Superbowl again??? Are you even a true Packer fan, or just a follower b/c they made it to the Superbowl?

    1. Mr HorseHead says:

      5 million??? What is that?? That is sooo greedy!!! I can totally understand the options that the NFL is giving. You want 5 million for the suffering of missing a football game,,,c’mon.. There are people that can barely afford to put food on the table, put a roof over their head and are barely making it in this economy and are suffering! Again I ask, you want 5 million for suffering b/c you missed a football game?That is soooo sick!! Greedy people!!!! And the other sick thing is I know of some of the people that trying to do this lawsuit,,I am embarassed!!

  19. wowowlol says:

    The NFL took over all operations for the Superbowl in early January. Jerry Jones did not do this. Some people need to get their facts straight before they comment AND that lawyer has ambulance chaser written all over his face. He doesn’t care about those people. He just wants to get paid.

  20. Michael T Newell says:

    I’m weak and werary of hearing about this both on the tv news and internet. It’s everywhere! All that I can think of to ease my troubled mind is to fuile a lawsuit against those filing a lawsuit against JJ and the NFL. Just as they do… I need money to make it right. But I want more than they get. I want whatever they’re asking for plus legal fees plus 25%. I think that’s fair. I’m looking for at least 6 others, preferably 12 more fans to join me uin a class action suit against the class action suit. As we are asking for more money than they are, henceforth we’ll refer to their case as the “Low Class Action Suit”.

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