Disney has been the subject of several lawsuits lately, and we’ve got a big update on one of them.
Disney has been sued over its response to the “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida (the Parental Rights in Education law), its Genie/Genie+ system, and Park Passes. In terms of Park Passes, lawsuits have come from both Disney World Annual Passholders and Magic Key pass holders.
The Passholders claimed that the Park Pass system effectively blocked out the highest tier of annual passholders from visiting the parks on certain days, even though Disney had advertised these passes as having “unlimited access.”
The Passholders claimed that Disney has also been “unfairly favoring” guests who have single-day or multi-day tickets over Annual Passholders so that they can “make a larger profit.”
In a recent court order, obtained via Justia US Law, the Judge also notes that the Plaintiffs claim that Disney has “altered the Platinum Pass and Platinum Plus Pass terms so dramatically that they do not even resemble the original agreement bargained for by Plaintiffs.”
A Disney spokesperson had previously said, “This lawsuit mischaracterizes the program and its history, and we will respond further in court.”
What’s Happening Now?
In a recent court order, obtained via Justia US Law, the Judge handling the matter denied the Plaintiff’s motion to reconsider. So what happened here? Let’s break it down.
Well, it turns out that the Plaintiffs previously filed a motion to “seal the case” and redact certain information. Specifically, they wanted the Plaintiff’s initials to be used instead of their full names. Currently, only the Plaintiff’s initials appear in the case.
In a November 2022 order, the Court denied that motion “in the interest of public access.” The Court explains that the matter didn’t involve “intimacy, criminal conduct, or risk of violence,” the Plaintiffs didn’t reveal that they were minors, and the Plaintiffs didn’t offer any evidence to “demonstrate that their concern regarding reputation for filing the suit was well-founded.”
So the court directed the Plaintiffs to file an amended complaint on or before November 17th, 2022. On November 17th, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration, which the Court denied. Thereafter, a second motion for reconsideration was filed.
The Plaintiffs claimed that since the lawsuit was filed they’ve “received a slew of hateful comments online, making them concerned physical confrontation might be next.” They also alleged that some social media commentary has referred to them as “idiots” and “entitled.” And they claim that some have called for the Plaintiffs to be banned from the parks and stripped of their passholder privileges.
The Plaintiffs claim that this will only get worse once their full names are exposed and they allege that their families will be exposed to the same level of “harassment.”
One Plaintiff alleged that they have a minor stepson who they don’t want to become the subject of ridicule. The other Plaintiff has a rental house with tenants and claims to be fearful that the tenants will be “heckled by disgruntled Disney supporters.”
Disney, the Defendant, filed a response in opposition arguing that the Court has rejected arguments made in similar situations and that there was no “compelling reason” to allow for this request.
The Court then discussed the legal standard it must follow in looking at motions for reconsideration — calling this an “extraordinary” remedy. The Court outlined how this is really only granted if there is the discovery of new evidence, the need to correct a clear error, or a change in the law.
It then made the determination that the remedy of reconsideration is not warranted in this case.
The Court claimed that Plaintiffs’ argument about the public attention associated with the lawsuit is nothing new. The Plaintiffs already had presented a motion to seal because of their fear of public harassment since Disney is “one of the most recognizable companies in the world.” The Court explained that they rejected that argument and their analysis still stands.
They also shared that (to the extent the Plaintiffs’ arguments are “new evidence”), there is still not enough concern about their reputation or risk of harm to outweigh the “interest in public access to this lawsuit.”
According to the Court’s documents, the Plaintiffs submitted screenshots of comments on social media and what the Plaintiffs described as “news articles” that are purportedly negative. The Court shared that while some of the comments can be “construed as negative,” it doesn’t “tip the balance in Plaintiffs’ favor.”
The court clarified, however, that they’re not suggesting platinffs have to “wait for an act of physical violence to occur” before obtaining relief, but they noted that these specific circumstances “neither support Plaintiff’s speculation concerning risks of physical harm and harassment nor warrant the extraordinary remedy of reconsideration.”
Instead, they insisted that what the Plaintiffs are alleging is closer to “the fear of personal embarrassment.” So, the court denied their motion for reconsideration and issued a warning. They cautioned the Plaintiffs that they are in violation of the Court’s earlier order asking them to submit an amended complaint and that the case is “subject to being dismissed without further notice.”
The court’s order was signed on December 12th, 2022, so we’ll be on the lookout for more updates.
In the meantime, you can click here to learn all about Disney’s Annual Passholder program, or click here to see how Passholder prices have INCREASED. Stay tuned for the latest updates.
Click here to see how the merchandise discount for Annual Passholders has changed for a limited time
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The post UPDATE on the Park Pass Lawsuit Filed by Annual Passholders Against Disney first appeared on the disney food blog.