Law360 (April 13, 2020, 9:52 PM EDT) -- Six Flags Magic Mountain continues to charge its season pass holders monthly membership fees despite the park’s closure during the COVID-19 pandemic, a pass holder said in a California federal court putative class action Friday.
Shahriyar Rezai-Hariri accused Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. and Magic Mountain LLC of breaching its contract, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and violating a string of state business laws for continuing to charge his credit card while not allowing him access to the Southern California theme park.
“Defendants have made the baffling decision to keep charging all of its customers monthly membership fees while prohibiting access to Six Flags Magic Mountain as the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, rages throughout the world and the United States economy has gone into a deep recession,” he said in the complaint.
The suit seeks to represent the “thousands” of pass holders who have been charged fees while Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, a nearby animal theme park, are closed.
According to the suit, annual memberships range from about $240 to $505 per year, depending on various promotions. When they sign up, members hand over the information for their credit or debit cards, which are automatically charged as the payments become due on a monthly basis, the suit alleges.
On March 13, Six Flags announced that it would close Magic Mountain and Discovery Kingdom temporarily.
“However, unlike its competitors in the industry, defendants continued charging its thousands of customers monthly fees – at full price,” the suit alleges.
Because it has access to the pass holders’ personal credit and debit card information, Six Flags is able to “unilaterally” charge their customers without their consent, the suit claims.
“Thus, defendants have made the deliberate decision to bilk its customers out of untold sums per month while its customers do not have access to defendants’ parks,” the suit says.
Pass holders agree to pay the monthly fees because they expect to have access to Magic Mountain, which advertises itself as open seven days a week, Rezai-Hariri said. The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Representatives for the parties did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A skier hit Vail Resorts Management Co. with a similar putative class action in California federal court Friday, alleging that the company is refusing to refund skiers’ passholder fees even though it closed all of its mountain resorts indefinitely due to the coronavirus.
Rezai-Hariri is represented by Daryoosh Khashayar of Khashayar Law Group.
Counsel information for the defendants is not immediately known.
The case is Rezai-Hariri v. Magic Mountain LLC et al., case number 8:20-cv-00716, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
--Additional reporting by Hailey Konnath. Editing by Peter Rozovsky.
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