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Archive for June 2nd, 2022

The Tidal Wave of COVID Litigation Gets to the Ohio Supreme Court

As the ABA warned us in 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic was expected to lead to more litigation than any other incident in U.S. history.  Now a case is being considered by the Ohio Supreme Court dealing with COVID closures, Cedar Point amusement park and season pass holders.

The court heard oral arguments on the case Laura Valentine v. Cedar Fair LP on May 25, 2022.  Cedar Fair LP is the parent company of Cedar Point.  Laura Valentine filed a class-action complaint on behalf of herself and others who purchased a 2020 season pass and weren’t given a refund for the months the park was closed. Erie County Common Pleas Court dismissed the case based on the terms and conditions of the season passes. Valentine appealed to the Sixth District Court of Appeals, which reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the lawsuit. The Sixth District wrote that the season pass agreement couldn’t be interpreted without more evidence. Cedar Fair appealed.

Valentine claimed the failure to refund season pass holders for the days the pass couldn’t be used breached the contract between pass holders and Cedar Fair. She also argued the failure to issue refunds unjustly enriched the company. Cedar Fair’s position was the pass holders’ rights aren’t absolute, and the pass doesn’t give holders “unfettered access” to the park. The company further argued the pass is a revocable license that gives pass holders access to the property pursuant to the license terms. The company compares the season pass to state-issued recreational licenses, such as hunting or fishing licenses, which can be revoked without refund.