On November 23, a judge in Florida’s district court ordered the class action lawsuit filed against Ultra Music Festival/Event Entertainment Group, Inc. in May to go to arbitration. The ordering United States District Judge, Robert N. Scola, Jr., has stayed the case pending arbitration, halting all further legal proceedings in the meantime. Scola Jr.’s order means that the plaintiffs, who filed the lawsuit in a bid to reclaim the funds from their 2020 Ultra Miami ticket purchases when the event was cancelled and subsequently rescheduled due to COVID-19 health concerns, and Ultra personnel must agree on an arbitrator to facilitate the process. Arbitration refers to a private, more expeditious type of proceeding that remains between the two parties and, unlike litigation, does not move forward in a public courtroom.
Under Scola Jr.’s order, both parties have been instructed to submit their respective disputes to arbitration. Scola Jr. additionally directed the clerk to administratively close the case in the meantime.
The order comes in spite of the plantiffs’ efforts “to avoid arbitration,” according to a court document in which Scola Jr. proclaimed that the court found their “resistance to arbitration unavailing” as they “failed to establish either procedural or substantive unconscionability” of the arbitrating clause outlined in Ultra’s ticketing agreement. While the plaintiffs formally argued against arbitration prior to the November 23 order, Ultra sought “to compel arbitration based on [said] arbitration clause” in the event’s ticketing agreement.
The district court’s order aligns with Ultra’s desired path of motion forward—to an extent. The court notably denied Ultra’s request for dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. Dismissal with prejudice means that the court’s dismissal represents the final determination on the merits of the case, and bars the plaintiff from filing another lawsuit on the same grounds. No further details on how or when the arbitration will proceed are available at this time.
Featured image: Alive Coverage