Six Flags to grant season pass holders free admission as part of the settlement agreement
Six Flags has agreed to extend the time period during which Pass Holders can visit their amusement parks for free, as part of a settlement of a class action lawsuit alleging the amusement park operator of collecting monthly membership fees improperly from people across the country while their parks were closed for the majority of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ryan Strassburger v. Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. et al.
In October 2020, attorneys from the Chicago and Denver-based companies of KamberLaw and Bursor & Fisher of Walnut Creek, California, lodged a class action lawsuit against Six Flags in Cook County Circuit Court. The attorneys who filed the action could collect up to $1.2 million as part of the Six Flags Pass Holders Settlement.
They filed the claim on behalf of Ryan Strassburger, a resident of Chicago.
Like many people across the country, Strassburger stated in the lawsuit that he had been a pass holder of Six Flags since 2019.
Members, such as Strassburger, would pay a monthly fee and then have unlimited admission to any of Six Flags’ 26 amusement parks in the United States, Canada, or Mexico.
Strassburger acquired the package, according to the complaint, primarily to visit the Gurnee, Illinois-based Six Flags Great America theme park.
However, just prior to the spring and summer 2020 operational seasons, Six Flags shut all of its theme parks and did not reopen Great America in light of the COVID outbreak. Governors have ordered the parks to remain closed in a number of locations.
While numerous Six Flags parks reopened throughout the summer of 2020, Great America remained closed.
Six Flags, however, proceeded to collect monthly payments throughout 2020, charging between $7.85 and $42 per month, based on the membership plan selected, which may include a variety of privileges and perks in addition to free admission.
The plaintiffs seek to widen the scope of the action to potentially hundreds of thousands of similar Six Flags pass holders across the country.
Settlement Agreement Between Six Flags and the Class
Following approximately 11 months of litigation, the two parties announced the Six Flags Pass Holders Settlement.
Six Flags would agree to provide current and former pass members with free admission to the amusement park and access to membership privileges, as well as potential additional perks, for varying lengths of time under the settlement.
The benefits’ value would be decided by whether those members maintained their memberships active, “paused” their memberships in agreement with Six Flags, or canceled their memberships between March 13, 2020, and September 10, 2021.
Individuals with active or paused memberships would receive “one free month of membership for each month they were charged” during the closure of their home park in 2020, or a Six Flags gift card that may be used at any Six Flags park in the United States.
Members who are currently active or paused will also obtain “upgraded membership status,” which entitles them to a higher tier of benefits and perks.
Members who canceled their memberships during the pandemic period would receive a complimentary entry ticket for every six months they were charged, as stipulated in the Six Flags Pass Holders Settlement.
Anyone who received a refund within the pandemic period specified by the agreement would be unable to receive any benefits from the settlement.
The settlement documents that have been made public thus far do not provide an estimate of the cash worth of the benefits Six Flags may deliver to pass holders as part of the deal.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys have not yet filed a formal request with the court for attorney fees. They do, however, suggest in posted settlement documents that they could demand up to $1.2 million in fees to cover litigation costs. This request will be made in a later filing.
For the time being, on September 10, Cook County Circuit Judge Sophia Hall issued preliminary approval to the agreement.
A final hearing on approval is expected for December 15.
Editor’s Note on Six Flags Pass Holders Settlement:
This article is written to inform you of the class action settlement agreement between Six Flags and its pass holders, who were charged monthly fees during the closure of the parks. We also suggest you read the SXSW Settlement over its covid-19 events cancellation.
Case Name & No.: Ryan Strassburger v. Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. et al.
Jurisdiction: Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois County Department
Allegations: Six Flags charged its season pass holders monthly fees while the parks were still closed because of the covid-19 pandemic.
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