NFL hit with class-action lawsuit over canceled Hall of Fame Game

Lawsuit alleges fans suffered significant damages
Posted at 3:59 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 00:38:03-04

Two Wisconsin fans are named in a class-action lawsuit resulting from the cancelation of Sunday’s NFL Hall of Fame Game, according to a complaint filed Thursday in the Northern District of Ohio.

The lawsuit, filed by California attorney Michael Avenatti, alleges fans suffered significant damages as a result of wrongful mismanagement and misconduct by the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Wisconsin residents Alan Biland and Carmelo Treviso are two of four plaintiffs named as purchasers of tickets to the game in Canton, Ohio.

The game was abruptly canceled after league officials determined the playing field was not safe.

Paint applied to the turf congealed with rubber pellets in the artificial surface, hardening in some places to what was described as a concrete-like consistency.

According to the complaint, the grounds crew was slow to remove decking from the field which delayed the painting of the playing surface.

Grounds crew members then applied heaters to the field in an attempt to dry the paint.

Instead, those heaters melted the playing surface.

“This resulted in the melting of the rubber pellets that comprise the FieldTurf, creating a large slick, sticky, and congealed areas within the playing surface,” the complaint says.

Stadium workers then attempted to remove the congealed substance from the field.

But according to the lawsuit, a member of the Green Bay Packers staff was concerned with the safety of this remedy.

“[A] Green Bay Packers employee noticed the substance’s label warned of burns upon skin contact,” the complaint said.

While a decision to cancel the game was made about 6:30 p.m., the suit alleges the Hall of Fame and NFL did not communicate this to fans until 8 p.m.

In that time, fans spent money on food and other concessions in the stadium.

The suit seeks in excess of $5 million in damages from the league and the Hall of Fame.