Dovel & Luner Defeats Cedar Fair’s Motion to Dismiss Consumer Protection Lawsuit
January 21, 2022 — SANTA MONICA – The Dovel & Luner law firm filed a federal lawsuit against Cedar Fair on behalf of consumers who purchased 2020 season passes to one of Cedar Fair’s thirteen amusement parks. The lawsuit alleged that Cedar Fair misled “millions of 2020 passholders” by shutting down Cedar Fair parks during the Covid-19 pandemic and “refusing to refund pass fees.”
The Complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, alleged that Cedar Fair violated Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. According to the lawsuit, Cedar Fair “knowingly made … misleading advertisements” that misled consumers into buying season passes, and bound them to “one-sided terms that allowed Defendants to keep all of consumers’ money without delivering the promised pass benefits.”
During the 2020 season, Cedar Fair sold season passes ranging from $60 to $200 in price to its various amusement parks. On the online pass purchase page, Cedar Fair “prominently promised that season passes would allow ‘unlimited visits’ for the 2020 season.” As a result of the pandemic, however, Cedar Fair “kept their parks closed for all, nearly all, or a substantial portion of the season” (i.e. California’s Great America, Valleyfair, and Canada’s Wonderland never opened). According to the Complaint, Cedar Fair did not provide refunds to 2020 season passholders, instead choosing to “keep all of passholders’ money.”
On November 11, 2021, Cedar Fair moved to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act Claim, alleging that they “did not commit any unfair, deceptive, or unconscionable consumer sales practices.”
The Ohio Federal Court issued an opinion denying Cedar Fair’s motion to dismiss, allowing the consumer protection claims to proceed. The Court stated that passholders could not have reasonably understood that their passes “entitle[d] Cedar Fair to keep their entire purchase price even if it failed to open its parks for all or a substantial portion of the season.”
The lawsuit is moving forward in Ohio Federal Court, with an upcoming status conference to set future case deadlines.
Dovel & Luner