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Long v. Live Nation Worldwide, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

July 23, 2018

BARRY LONG, Plaintiff,
v.
LIVE NATION WORLDWIDE, INC., AND TICKETMASTER LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Thomas S. Zilly, United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, docket no. 18 (“Plaintiff's Motion”), and defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment, docket no. 38 (“Defendants' Cross-Motion”). Having reviewed all papers filed in support of, and in opposition to, the motions, and hearing oral argument on the motions, the Court enters the following order.

         Background

         Plaintiff Barry Long (“Plaintiff” or “Long”) brings a disability discrimination action alleging violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”). See First Amended Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief, docket no. 16 (the “Amended Complaint”), at ¶¶ 5.1- 5.24. Plaintiff uses a wheelchair to attend Seahawks football games at CenturyLink Field. See Declaration of Barry Long, docket no. 19 (“Long Declaration”), at ¶¶ 3, 5-6. Defendant Ticketmaster LLC is the wholly owned subsidiary of Defendant Live Nation Worldwide, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”). Defendants operate the website www.ticketexchangebyticketmaster.com (the “Exchange Website”). See Declaration of Brian Luna, docket no. 22-1 (“First Luna Declaration”), at ¶ 1. The Exchange Website connects fans wishing to resell sporting tickets they own to fans wishing to purchase those tickets. See Id. at ¶ 4. When this lawsuit was filed in 2016, Defendants did not sell its own tickets on the Exchange Website-instead, they offered direct ticket sales through an affiliated website, www.ticketmaster.com (the “Retail Sales Website”). Id. at ¶¶ 4, 5.

         I. Plaintiff's Allegations

         The essence of Plaintiff's claims is that he was unable to find wheelchair accessible tickets that met his needs when using the Exchange Website. Plaintiff specifically alleges that he has “encountered a number of barriers to access to tickets to CenturyLink Field[, ]” including the Exchange Website's lack of “information for accessible seats in violation of the applicable standards under the ADA and WLAD.” Amended Complaint at ¶ 4.6. He alleges that “[w]hen attempting to purchase tickets through the Website, it is impossible to identify which seats are wheelchair accessible. This has prevented Plaintiff from purchasing tickets for accessible seating.” Id. at ¶ 4.7.

         Plaintiff asserts that Defendants have discriminated against Plaintiff in violation of Title III of the ADA by: (1) providing “goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and/or accommodations that are not equal to those afforded to non-disabled individuals;” and (2) by “[f]ailing to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and/or procedures as necessary to afford the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and/or accommodations to individuals with disabilities.” Id. at ¶ 5.9; see also Id. at ¶¶ 5.19, 5.21 (corresponding WLAD allegations).

         II. The Exchange Website

         A. The Original Version

         Since Plaintiff initiated this lawsuit, the Exchange Website has been a moving target. Plaintiff filed his original complaint on December 22, 2016. See docket no. 1. At that time, the Exchange Website did not include information identifying which available CenturyLink tickets were wheelchair accessible. See Long Declaration at ¶ 12, Exhibit B. Instead, the Exchange Website contained a list of available tickets organized by section, row, price, and quantity-without distinguishing between accessible and non-accessible seats. See Id. Next to this list was an “Interactive Seating Chart” showing a drawing of CenturyLink stadium and depicting which sections contained available tickets. Id. The Interactive Seating Chart also did not specify which available seats were wheelchair accessible, as follows:

         (Image Omitted)

         Long Declaration, Exhibit B (screenshot taken on or before May 18, 2017).

         B. The Interim Version

         On May 18, 2017, Plaintiff filed this Motion for Summary Judgment arguing that the original Exchange Website violated the ADA. See docket no. 18. Sometime after the Motion was filed, Defendants modified the Exchange Website to include (1) a “Click here for ADA Locations” link in the top right-hand corner of the webpage displaying the CenturyLink seating chart; and (2) an option to view “More Details” of a particular ticket, as follows:

         (Image Omitted)

          See First Luna Declaration, ¶ 9, Exhibit 1 (highlighting added). By clicking on the “Click here for ADA Locations” link, the Exchange Website displayed ...


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