COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES
|3 Months Ended|
Mar. 31, 2023
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES||COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES
Consumer Class Actions
The following putative class action lawsuits were filed against Live Nation and/or Ticketmaster in Canada: Thompson-Marcial and Smith v. Ticketmaster Canada Holdings ULC (Ontario Superior Court of Justice, filed September 2018); McPhee v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., et al. (Superior Court of Quebec, District of Montreal, filed September 2018); Crystal Watch v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., et al. (Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan, by amendments filed September 2018); and Gomel v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., et al. (Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, filed October 2018). Similar putative class actions were filed in the United States during the same time period, but as of November 2020, each of the lawsuits filed in the United States has been dismissed with prejudice.
The Canadian lawsuits make similar factual allegations that Live Nation and/or Ticketmaster engage in conduct that is intended to encourage the resale of tickets on secondary ticket exchanges at elevated prices. Based on these allegations, each
plaintiff asserts violations of different provincial and federal laws. Each plaintiff also seeks to represent a class of individuals who purchased tickets on a secondary ticket exchange, as defined in each plaintiff’s complaint. The Watch complaint also makes claims related to Ticketmaster’s fee display practices on the primary market. The complaints seek a variety of remedies, including unspecified compensatory damages, punitive damages, restitution, injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees and costs.
In April 2021, the court in the Gomel lawsuit declined to certify all claims other than those pled under British Columbia’s Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and claims for punitive damages. The court did certify a class of British Columbia residents who purchased tickets to an event in Canada on any secondary market exchange from June 2015 through April 2021 that were initially purchased on Ticketmaster.ca. In May 2021, Ticketmaster and Live Nation filed a notice of appeal of the class certification ruling, and the plaintiff filed a cross-appeal shortly thereafter. The appeals were heard in early February 2023.
The court in the Watch matter issued its class certification ruling in November 2022. The court declined to certify and dismissed all claims other than those pled under provincial consumer protection statutes relating to drip pricing and certified a class of consumers who purchased tickets between September 2015 and June 2018 from Ticketmaster.ca on the primary market. In December 2022, the parties filed cross-notices of appeal of the court’s ruling. A hearing on the parties’ motions for leave to appeal took place in March 2023.
The class certification hearing in the Thompson-Marcial matter has not yet been scheduled. The McPhee matter is stayed pending the outcome of the Watch matter.
Based on information presently known to management, we do not believe that a loss is probable of occurring at this time, and we believe that the potential liability, if any, will not have a material adverse effect on our financial position, cash flows or results of operations. Further, we do not currently believe that the claims asserted in these lawsuits have merit, and considerable uncertainty exists regarding any monetary damages that will be asserted against us. We continue to vigorously defend these actions.
On November 5, 2021, the Astroworld music festival was held in Houston, Texas. During the course of the festival, ten members of the audience sustained fatal injuries and others suffered non-fatal injuries. Following these events, approximately 450 civil lawsuits have been filed against Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. and related entities, asserting insufficient crowd control and other theories, seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Pursuant to a February 2022 order of the state Multidistrict Litigation Panel, matter 21-1033, the civil cases have been assigned to Judge Kristen Hawkins of the 11th District Court of Harris County, Texas, for oversight of pretrial matters under Texas’s rules governing multidistrict litigation. Discovery is underway. Confidential settlements were reached with the families of three of the deceased plaintiffs in August through December 2022.
We are currently unable to reliably predict the developments in, outcome of, and economic costs and other consequences of pending or future litigation related to these matters. We will continue to investigate the factual and legal defenses, and evaluate these matters based on subsequent events, new information and future circumstances. We currently expect that liability insurance can provide sufficient coverage, but at this time there are no assurances of such coverage. Given that these cases are in the early stages and in light of the uncertainties surrounding them, we do not currently possess sufficient information to determine a range of reasonably possible liability. Notwithstanding the foregoing, and without admitting liability or wrongdoing, we may incur material liabilities from the 2021 Astroworld event, which could have a material impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and/or cash flows.
From time to time, we are involved in other legal proceedings arising in the ordinary course of our business, including proceedings and claims based upon purported violations of antitrust laws, intellectual property rights and tortious interference, which could cause us to incur significant expenses. We have also been the subject of personal injury and wrongful death claims relating to accidents at our venues in connection with our operations. As required, we have accrued our estimate of the probable settlement or other losses for the resolution of any outstanding claims. These estimates have been developed in consultation with counsel and are based upon an analysis of potential results, including, in some cases, estimated redemption rates for the settlement offered, assuming a combination of litigation and settlement strategies. It is possible, however, that future results of operations for any particular period could be materially affected by changes in our assumptions or the effectiveness of our strategies related to these proceedings.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/disclosureRef