Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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Appellants purchased tickets to Super Bowl XLV and were either displaced from their seats, relocated, or had an obstructed view of the field. The majority of the affected ticketholders settled with the NFL. However, appellants in this instance elected to file suit, alleging various claims relating to breach of contract and fraud. Most of appellants’ claims were dismissed before trial, and class certification was denied. Seven individual appellants went to trial against the NFL and prevailed on breach of contract, but not on fraudulent inducement claims. The court concluded that, because appellants have presented no authority supporting that a third-party vendor with limited responsibility is also responsible for the performance of the express ticket terms, appellants’ argument that the Cowboys are liable for their tort claims fails; an inference of fraudulent inducement is untenable; and the economic loss rule bars appellants' claims. The court also concluded that the contract claims failed where the unambiguous term of the contract entitling ticketholders to “a spectator seat for the game” was not breached by an obstructed view of the video board. Furthermore, the fraudulent inducement claims failed because appellants were not fraudulently induced to buy Super Bowl tickets thinking they would see the game on the video board. As to class certification, the court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to certify the Displaced Class, the Relocated Class, and the Obstructed-View Class. Finally, the court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to give appellants' proposed jury instruction. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Ibe v. Jones" on Justia Law

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Machete, a film production company, filed suit claiming that a Texas film incentive program was unconstitutional under the First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, and Texas Constitution. The district court dismissed all of Machete's claims. The court concluded that Machete lacked standing to pursue its only available federal claim against the director of the Texas Film Commission in her official capacity. The court also concluded that Machete has not shown that it has clearly established that the First Amendment requires a state which has an incentive program like this one to fund films casting the state in a negative light. Consequently, Machete cannot show that Governor Rick Perry’s general counsel, David Morales, violated Machete’s clearly established rights in this context. Machete's due process clause claims are similarly unavailing. Finally, the district court did not err in dismissing Machete's claims under the Texas Constitution because Morales did not forbid Machete from filming, producing, or releasing its movie, but merely opted not to subsidize the film with Texas taxpayer funds. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "Machete Prod. v. Page" on Justia Law