Secondary ticketing company ScoreBig temporarily ceased operations Friday, Sept. 24, amidst rumors that it fired most of its staff, abandoned its Hollywood offices and stopped paying ticket brokers. The company resumed selling tickets Saturday afternoon, Sept. 25, and when the ticket selling arm was contacted a few days later insisted it was still open for business.
Now, a week later, when a customer calls the ScoreBig ticket-ordering hotline they are greeted with this message: “If you are a customer calling about the validity of your ticket please refer to the email received on September 30 and contact your ticket supplier. Unfortunately, we do not have access to this information. If you are a broker please call 888-545-9161 or email Help@Scorebig.com.”
Oddly, when Venues Today went to the ScoreBig website, it was up and running, seemingly selling tickets, and even sent back a “Welcome to ScoreBig, Here's $10 off your next “purchase” email. An hour later Venues Today received a second email from ScoreBig urging a ticket sale, which said: “Do you really want to miss this event? Great deals on these tickets.”
Email message from ScoreBig on Oct. 7, 2016
ScoreBig allegedly still owes its broker-partners millions in unpaid ticket settlements. Many brokers, believing that they will never get paid, canceled the ScoreBig tickets, leaving unsuspecting ScoreBig customers holding unusable tickets at venue gates.
At the start of this week ScoreBig sent a letter to all their brokers, saying, “As most of you know, last week ScoreBig encountered a liquidity crisis and in response suspended ticket sales operations and terminated most of our staff. We are aware that there are ticket orders that we have placed through you for future events, which may or may not have been paid by us.”
The letter offers brokers the opportunity to get the names and contact information of the affected ticket buyers and implores brokers not to cancel tickets for the sake of the fans. The letter also suggests that ScoreBig is looking for a buyer.
The entire letter can be read here.
The letter did not set well or satisfy ticket broker Eric Fuller, owner of FullaTickets, San Diego. Fuller is owed big money by ScoreBig. Unhappy with any answers he has received from ScoreBig representatives, Fuller has retained Eric Jenkins, Jenkins P.C., as counsel and started a class action lawsuit.
“Mr. Fuller approached me two weeks ago,” said Eric Jenkins, “It appears, from the information that I've been provided, that ScoreBig has been in financial distress for some time and took ticket inventory from brokers knowing that they might not be able to pay them for that inventory. Obviously this is a problem for brokers.”
Jenkins filed a lawsuit with the Superior Court Of California in Los Angeles Sept. 29. Jenkins alleges ScoreBig ran a Ponzi scheme, and said, “Scorebig concealed the practice of using proceeds of selling a particular broker’s tickets for purposes other than paying the broker who provided the tickets sold.” The lawsuit cites negligence, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation, conversion and breach of contract as actions requiring relief.
A copy of the lawsuit can be seen here.
“The first step is getting the case certified,” explained Jenkins. “In order to do so, the court has to find that Mr. Fuller will adequately represent the class and there are elements that have to be met like whether there are enough people in the class; whether treatment of the case as a class action suit is economical; are the claims similar for the various class members; are the class members capable of being ascertained and are there damages that can be recovered under the theories alleged.”
The certification process can take years. “Our process server has been attempting all week to effect service on the registered agent of ScoreBig,” said Jenkins. “The registered agent is in a private house and even though the lights have been on all week they refuse to answer the door.”
The resolution to not being able to serve the defendant requires going to court and asking the judge to allow service by publication or some other means. “Once the defendant is served they have a right to respond,” said Jenkins. “Then we start discovery. The process we have to go through to get all those elements vetted can take quite a long time. Most of the time it takes two years before we get to litigate the action.”
As of now the lawsuit does not specify a dollar figure. Jenkins said they will ask for all the money owed to the brokers who join in the suit plus punitive damages. “I know what Mr. Fuller is owed,” said Jenkins. “We have to wait until we see how many other brokers join the suit and see how much they are owed before we can come up with a action amount.”
It's not just the exact dollar figure of losses to the brokers that Jenkins hopes the court will ultimately award. “One of the actions is intentional misrepresentation,” said Jenkins. “Another word for that is fraud. One of the forms of relief you can get in a fraud case is punitive damages. We'll certainly ask for a hefty amount.”
Jenkins said they are going to get as many brokers as they can to get in on the class action suit. He anticipates that there are thousands of brokers who will want to join. “I've been getting calls from brokers all week, from all over the country, who say ScoreBig owes them a lot of money.”
Jenkins is the sole attorney of record only on the action he's filed on behalf of Mr. Fuller. “Other suits may get filed and then it's up to the judge to determine who will best represent the class. Because the damages aren't unique to California and are nationwide, the courts also have the option to classify it as nationwide.”
Jenkins previously represented Fuller in his rejection of the settlement in the “Schlesinger vs.Ticketmaster” case earlier this year. “I repre-sented Mr. Fuller in that case as the settlement being unfair to ticket brokers. I was able to obtain a better settlement for Mr. Fuller.”
Jenkins said the litigation process could go on for several years, barring a settlement. “A case like this can take four or five years before an ultimate judgment,” he said.
Anyone who wishes to be part of this class action suit should contact Eric Jenkins, (858) 314-2800.
Interviewed for this story: Eric Jenkins, (858) 314-2800