Wheel Chair Users Bring Class Action Against Ticketmaster, Los Angeles County, and Los Angeles Philharmonic Association for Disability Access Discrimination

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Wheelchair users who attempt to purchase tickets to venues like the Hollywood Bowl cannot purchase them directly online. This lawsuit is designed to change that.

V. James DeSimone of stated: “Wheelchair users should be able to order tickets online and print them out at home just as any other concert goer. It is outrageous that Ticketmaster, Los Angeles County, and Los Angeles Philharmonic flout the law.

Today, John Whitbread, a music fan who uses a wheelchair, filed a Class Action Lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Ticketmaster, Los Angeles County, and Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Mr. Whitbread alleges that Ticketmaster does not allow wheelchair users to purchase wheelchair accessible tickets directly online. Instead, a wheelchair user must go through the elaborate process of sending in a request for tickets and then wait for a telephone call in order to purchase tickets. The lawsuit alleges that this is precisely what happened when Mr. Whitbread attempted to purchase Journey tickets for the Hollywood Bowl.

Mr. Whitbread is not seeking damages. Instead, the lawsuit is designed to require Ticketmaster to allow wheelchair users to purchase tickets directly online like any other concert goer.

The lawsuit, Case No. BC489093, alleges that each of the defendants are in violation of California State law, including California’s Disabled Persons Act. These laws follow the requirement of the Americans with Disability Act which mandates: “A public accommodation that sells tickets for a single event or series of events shall modify its policies, practices, or procedures to ensure that individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to purchase tickets for accessible seating through the same methods of distribution [as other patrons]” [See 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(f)(ii)].

The Action seeks certification of a plaintiff class of wheelchair users and an order from the Court to compel Defendants to permit wheelchair users to purchase tickets for venues directly online. The lawsuit alleges that Defendants discriminatory actions include: “The denial of access to the same methods of ticket purchases to individuals on account of their disability – specifically, wheelchair users often cannot purchase wheelchair accessible tickets directly online through Ticketmaster’s website – however, individuals who purchase non-accessible seats enjoy the amenity of purchasing tickets directly online.”

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V. James DeSimone
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