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Hall of Fame Non-Game lawsuit appears to be looming

Packers Colts Football

Crews clean the painted logo of the field at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium before a preseason NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016 in Canton, Ohio. ( / Bob Rossiter)


The NFL’s definition of “making it right” may not mesh with Ohio’s definition of the term.

The lawyer who sued on behalf of fans who showed up for Super Bowl XLV with tickets that didn’t correspond to actual seats plans to sue the NFL for fans who showed up in Canton on Sunday night with tickets for a game that wasn’t played.

“We plan on filing a class [action] within days,” Michael Avenatti said on Twitter. “$0 for fan expenses is a disgrace.” (Avenatti has confirmed via email that the unverified account belongs to him.)

Whether it’s a disgrace and whether it’s a violation of Ohio law are two different questions. Whether the lawsuit can be maintained as a class action is another question as well.

After Super Bowl XLV, Avenatti pursued a class action, but the courts in Texas declined to certify the class, forcing the claims for reimbursement to be pursued in small chunks. One group of seven plaintiffs received $76,000 in litigation that also included allegations of witness tampering by the league.

That case also included deposition testimony from a Commissioner who fought not to testify, along with a debate over the meaning of the term “accountable.”

In this case, “accountable” for the NFL currently means refunding ticket prices only. Eventually, it could mean a lot more than that.