More Settlement Talks For TM

An Arkansas man who took Ticketmaster to court last year over ticket fees will join the settlement of a similar class-action suit in Los Angeles following the dismissal of his case.

U.S. District Judge James Moody dismissed Corey McMillan’s suit July 24 and ruled it can’t be refiled.

McMillan sued TM and Live Nation after he bought four tickets to see Jason Aldean at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock and was irked over ticket charges. His complaint alleged the company’s fees violated the state’s trade practices law.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, a number of objectors have come forward to urge Superior Court Judge Kenneth Freeman to reject the settlement agreement for a class-action suit filed by a group of consumers in 2003 that raised hell over TM’s processing fees and UPS charges.

It seemed both sides had finally reached a deal last November after years of “extensive, contentious, arm’s-length negotiations.”

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, people who purchased tickets between Oct. 21, 1999, and Oct. 19, 2011, would receive credits to their TM accounts of $1.50 per purchase for up to 17 transactions. Additionally, people who opted in to a UPS subclass in the suit would be entitled to $5 credits per transaction to be used for future delivery fees.

But it now appears that some class members feel they’re getting the short end of the stick in the settlement, which they say favors attorneys over the class.

Attorneys would receive about $15 million in fees and $1.5 million in costs under the agreement, according to court documents obtained by the National Law Journal.

“You should not force class members to do business with the defendant in order to receive a benefit,” lawyer Robert Chojnacki argued in court. “Here the class counsel gets $15 million in cash and class members get coupons.”

The deal would also reportedly provide $20,000 each to two class representatives and $45 million in payments to a group of charities should TM credits go unredeemed.

The judge has yet to issue a ruling on the matter.