L.A. Rams Lawsuit Stays in Federal Court, For Now
On Monday, June 20, 2016, a Missouri federal judge ruled to keep a proposed class action lawsuit against the soon-to-be Los Angeles Rams in federal court during an appeal. There had been a previous order on May 10 to remand the case back to state court on jurisdictional grounds, but U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White decided the potential for extra costs and duplicative litigation was enough to stay the order while waiting on a decision from the federal appeals court.
The lawsuit was originally filed by four St. Louis residents who claim to have been misled by top executives of the Rams, primarily owner Stan Kroenke, into believing the team would stay in St. Louis. They claim reliance on false statements by Kroenke and executive Kevin Demoff induced them into purchasing tickets, concessions, and team merchandise from 2010 to 2016, for which they seek reimbursement. Specifically, they claim the Rams violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act with their statements of “deception, fraud, false pretense, (and) false promise.”
The team has claimed the potential move to Los Angeles was not a secret, and statements from Kroenke and Demoff did not commit the Rams to staying in St. Louis. They claim the franchise “had no affirmative duty to disclose their contingent business plans” regarding the move to Los Angeles. The team’s motion to dismiss the case was denied by Judge White, resulting in the current appeal in federal court.