After a spectator at a Chicago Cubs game, who was hit in the face by a baseball, sued, the team and MLB moved to compel arbitration. The Illinois trial court rejected the motion, finding that the arbitration provision was procedurally unconscionable and therefore unenforceable. The Illinois appellate court agreed, pointing to the fact that the fine print on the back of the ticket failed to include all of the arbitration terms and conditions, and that expecting a ticketholder to access a separate website to view the full terms and conditions while navigating the commotion of a baseball game was so onerous that it could not be said that the plaintiff had fairly agreed to the conditions.
Laiah Zuniga was hit in the face by a foul ball while attending a Chicago Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field. Zuniga obtained entry to the ballpark by presenting a paper ticket created by the Cubs’ ticket office. Zuniga had been given the ticket earlier that day by her father, who won it in a raffle at his workplace. The front of the ticket contained artwork depicting one of the Cubs players; information about the opponent, the date and time of the game, the seat location, the ticket price, a barcode, and small print that stated that the ticket was subject to terms/conditions on the reverse side.
On the back of the ticket was an advertisement as well as six paragraphs of fine print. The fine print made reference to terms and conditions available either on the Cubs’ website or available at the Cubs administrative office. The ticket did not specify where the administrative office could be found. The fine print contained a warning that baseballs could be hit into the stands and that spectators should stay alert and disclaimed liability for any injuries resulting from such occurrences. The final paragraph specified that any disputes would be resolved by binding arbitration. Continue reading ›