National Roundup

Fans sue MLB, teams over ticket money, ask for class action

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A pair of fans in New York sued Major League Baseball, Commissioner Rob Manfred and the 30 teams, asking for their money back for tickets and for certification of class-action status.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by Matthew Ajzenman, who said he bought a partial season plan for more than 20 Mets games; and Susan Terry-Bazer, who said she purchased six tickets for a May 9 game at Yankee Stadium against Boston.

"Baseball fans are stuck with expensive and unusable tickets for unplayable games in the midst of this economic crisis," the lawsuit said. "Under the pretext of 'postponing' games, at the directive of MLB, teams and ticket merchants are refusing to issue refunds for games which are not going to be played as scheduled - if ever."

Ajzenman said his Mets plan cost $1,730 and he made a first payment to the team of about $317 last year. Terry-Bazer said she paid $926 to Ticketmaster and planned to take her grandson to the Red Sox-Yankees game.

Ticketmaster, Stubhub, Live Nation and Last Minute Transactions are among the defendants. The caption on the first page included Tampa Bay Devil Rays Ltd. - "Devil" was dropped from the team's nickname after the 2007 season.

"The defendants continue to retain enormous profits from tickets sold for the 2020 MLB season at the expense of fans' financial hardship," the suit said.

Fans asked for "full restitution, an accounting of all MLB tickets sold for the 2020 season (including season tickets, single game purchases, and public seat licenses), a declaratory judgment that defendants' conduct of continuing to sell tickets for the 2020 MLB regular season violates California law, as well as a disgorgement of profits from tickets sold during the 2020 MLB season."

They allege violations of California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law and of civil conspiracy.

Opening day on March 26 was pushed back until mid-May at the earliest after a national emergency was declared due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

MLB said it is awaiting government and medical direction, and it does not know when the season can begin. The league and the players' union have discussed the possibility of playing at neutral sites or in empty ballparks, but no decisions have been made.

MLB, the Mets and Yankees did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Woman run over while sleeping on sidewalk sues for $450K

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A woman who was sleeping on a Portland sidewalk when she was run over by a truck operated by a homelessness nonprofit organization has filed a $450,000 lawsuit against the driver.

Daphne Taylor is suing driver Warren Schaupp as well as his employer, Central City Concern, for the 2018 incident that left her with a broken leg, according to her lawsuit filed Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Schaupp declined comment Monday, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Administrative staff and a lawyer for Central City Concern didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

The large nonprofit helps people without homes find homes and receive healthcare, mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment.

According to a police report, Taylor had been sleeping under a dark blanket in a poorly lit area at about 12:30 a.m. on May 25, 2018. Schaupp drove his maintenance pick-up truck onto the sidewalk.

"(Schaupp) said he felt a bump on the tire and then heard a women (sic) yelling," the report reads.

An officer wrote that Schaupp didn't appear impaired.

Attorney Greg Kafoury, who is representing Taylor, said he offered a settlement with Central City Concern that included the agency providing Taylor a home. But Kafoury said the nonprofit wouldn't oblige -- and Taylor is still living outside.

The lawsuit faults Schaupp for negligence.

Gym owner says he'll fight charge filed for staying open

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - The owner of a fitness center in Virginia says he will fight a misdemeanor charge that's been filed against him for defying the state's order for non-essential businesses to close.

The Roanoke Times reported that Thomas Milton, owner of Titan Fit, was cited Sunday by Roanoke police.

Greg Phillips, Milton's attorney, said he believes the citation is the first issued in Virginia against the owner of a private fitness club.

Gov. Ralph Northam's order is in effect until May 8. It's designed to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

The attorney signaled that Milton would argue the Northam exceeded his authority. He said that Titan Fit is following the same rules for social distancing and cleaning that are set by businesses that have been allowed to remain open.

"Mr. Milton, like so many other small businesses throughout the Commonwealth, is a responsible and deliberate owner who puts the health and well-being of his club members and staff first," Phillips said.

The fitness center is a members-only club that employees a staff of four.

Roanoke police said the situation is ongoing and declined to release more information or talk about what led to the charge.

Archdiocese settles suit in 2015 abuse of 7-year-old

CHICAGO (AP) - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has settled a lawsuit that alleged a 7-year-old girl was sexually assaulted at a church camp in 2015, an attorney for the girl announced Monday.

Attorney Antonio Romanucci in a news release did not name the camp where the alleged assault took place. However, he said the girl, now 12, was repeatedly abused by a camp counselor in multiple locations at a suburban Chicago church.

The girl told a teacher about the assault, who notified the girl's father. According to Romanucci, the archdiocese discouraged the father from calling police, contending the allegations would ruin the girl's reputation and hurt attendance at the church.

A spokesperson for the archdiocese declined to comment on the case.

Romanucci asserted the unidentified counselor who the girl accused of abusing her had aroused suspicions about his mental health. It wasn't immediately known if charges were filed in the case.

"The church leaders involved had knowledge that this man should not be responsible for young girls," said Martin Gould, another attorney representing the girl.

Romanucci said the case "continued negligence by church leaders."

Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2020