Nine Important Facts PSL Holders Need to Know
On January 24, 2019, U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr., granted preliminary approval of the $24 million class action settlement for purchasers of personal seat licenses (PSLs) for the former St. Louis Rams football team. The court’s order establishes a settlement website for PSL holders to file claims, procedures for notice of the settlement to be sent to class members, and a deadline for making claims to participate in the settlement.
“This settlement provides a reimbursement to PSL holders that is consistent with the relief we sought in the lawsuit, but many people still have questions about the claims process,” said Kevin Green, attorney with Goldenberg Heller.
Questions regarding the settlement, the qualifications to receive a refund, opting-out of the settlement, the $24 million settlement cap, the timing of payments to PSL holders, and a timeline of important dates are addressed below.
What are PSL holders getting?
Payments to class members are based on 30-percent of the price paid for each PSL, which represents a full-reimbursement equivalent for the nine years remaining on the 30-year PSL contract when the Rams moved to Los Angeles after the 2015 season.
PSL Tier Price
Pay-Out for Each PSL
How and when should claims be made?
Class members must file a claim by mail or online at www.RamsPSLClassActionSettlement.com [the website goes live February 16, 2019]. Claims must be filed no later than August 23, 2019.
Who qualifies for a refund?
PSL contracts were initially sold by an entity called “Fans, Inc.” In April 1996, the Rams started selling PSLs directly. The settlement includes purchases made both through Fans, Inc. and the Rams.
If you purchased a PSL from FANS, Inc., directly from the Rams, or from another PSL holder at any time, and if you never received a written cancellation notice from the Rams before the end of the 2015 season, you are likely a class member eligible to receive a part of the settlement funds. If you transferred your PSL or received a written cancellation notice from the Rams, you may not be in the class. The settlement includes a process to verify the claim and the amount owed after a PSL holder files a claim.
What if a PSL holder stopped buying season tickets?
Individuals who bought a PSL but stopped buying season tickets may still be eligible to participate in the settlement. If you stopped buying season tickets at any time, you may still be in the class if you did not receive a written notice from the Rams cancelling your PSL.
Are there exceptions?
You may receive payment for each PSL you owned at the end of the 2015 season as long as you did not transfer that PSL to someone else or receive a written notice from the Rams terminating that PSL.
Can PSL holders opt-out of the settlement?
PSL owners may opt-out of the settlement. The settlement website has detailed information about how to opt-out and the deadline to opt-out.
What if the number of claims exceeds the $24-million dollar settlement?
The $24 million settlement is divided evenly between the FANS Class and the Rams Class, and the total payment to each class is capped at $12 million. While it is highly unlikely, if the number of claims for either class exceeds the $12 million cap, the payment for each qualifying PSL in that class will be reduced proportionately for the class members.
When will PSL holders receive their money?
The date of payment to the class members is a bit uncertain because there is a court-approval process involved, which could take many months. The timing for when payment is made could also be extended if there are appeals after the court issues a final approval order. The settlement website has more detailed information about dates and the status of the court-approval process.
Is there a timeline for how events will unfold?
A timeline of key events in the settlement process is located here.
In February 2016, Ronald McAllister filed a class action lawsuit asserting that the Rams breached the contract governing the PSLs. He argued that the contract governing the PSLs sold by FANS, Inc. required the Rams to refund a portion of the PSL purchase price after their move to Los Angeles. For original PSL holders who bought PSLs when the Rams first came to St. Louis, he sought a 30-percent refund based on the nine unused years remaining on the 30-year term.
In 2018, the court appointed McAllister as a class representative on behalf of all original purchasers of PSLs (known as the FANS Class). The court appointed as attorneys for the FANS Class Mark Goldenberg, Thomas Rosenfeld and Kevin Green of Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C.; Anthony Bruning, Anthony Bruning Jr., Ryan Bruning, and Edward Roth of The Bruning Law Firm, LLC; and Richard Cornfeld of the Law Office of Richard S. Cornfeld.
Separate lawsuits brought by individuals who purchased PSLs through the Rams beginning in April 1996 were filed by Richard Arnold, R. McNeeley Cochran, and Brad Pearlman. They argued that the contracts governing the PSLs sold by the Rams did not terminate with the Rams’ move to Los Angeles, and that the Rams breached the contract by failing to use their “best efforts” to ensure PSL holders the right to purchase tickets wherever the Rams played their home games. These PSL holders were also grouped together in a class (known as the Rams Class), which also includes PSL holders who upgraded to a higher tier seat or who received their PSL by transfer from another PSL holder.
Both the FANS Class and the Rams Class are part of the settlement.