Once Again, StubHub Moves to Compel Arbitration or Dismiss Claims in Refund MDL

On Monday, online ticket seller StubHub Inc. renewed its motion to compel arbitration against those plaintiffs not previously sent to the para-judicial forum, and in the alternative, sought to dismiss other remaining claims in a case concerning the company’s refund policy.

The suit concerns a change made in March 2020 at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced that instead of refunding tickets to canceled events, it would issue purchasers a 120% credit in the event of cancellation. The plaintiffs alleged that StubHub misrepresented its policy and failed to explain to users that it no longer offered a money back guarantee.

The 56 named complainants filed a consolidated complaint in January 2021. The following month, StubHub moved to compel arbitration pursuant to a clause within the user agreement all website and mobile app users must sign prior to use.

In November, the court issued a mixed ruling by sending the 46 website user plaintiffs to arbitration while allowing the mobile application user plaintiffs to proceed after finding that they were not adequately on notice of the agreement’s terms. 

Specifically, the court ruled that though StubHub had an opportunity to present screenshots or other evidence showing that the plaintiffs were on notice of the terms during the sign-in and check-out processes on the mobile application, StubHub did not. The court also permitted California consumer law claims for injunctive relief to proceed after finding that Ninth Circuit precedent bars arbitration clauses that stand between a litigant and their right to seek public injunctive relief. 

Now, allegedly armed with the evidence it lacked before, StubHub argues that the remaining federal court plaintiffs must be sent to arbitration. “Factual verification regarding each of these Remaining Plaintiffs confirms they all assented to the operative version of the User Agreement by unequivocally signing into the StubHub website—the same User Agreement this Court relied on to compel arbitration of the other 48 Plaintiffs.” 

If the court reaches the dismissal question, StubHub urges the court to toss the of the remaining plaintiffs’ California and non-California statutory causes of action and negligent misrepresentation cause of action. In this vein, the motion levels standing arguments as well as failure to state a claim contentions. 

The plaintiffs are represented by Ahdoot & Wolfson PC and Wittels McInturff Palikovic. StubHub is represented by McDermott Will & Emery LLP.