A Houston Astros season ticket holder sued the franchise alleging that team officials inappropriately raised ticket prices after players engaged in a sign-stealing scheme during their championship season in 2017.
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In a lawsuit filed last Friday in U.S. District Court in Houston, the plaintiff, Adam Wallach, seeks class-action status on behalf of other Astros season ticketholders. Wallach accuses Astros officials of various offenses, including negligence and breach of contract.
The Astros “knowingly and surreptitiously engaged in a sign-stealing scheme in violation of Major League Baseball rules and regulations, and secretly put a deficient product on the field that could result (and now has resulted) in severe penalties institute by MLB,” the lawsuit says. Personal seat licenses are often required to buy season ticket packages.
The lawsuit seeks compensation for full and partial season ticket holders for “inappropriate increases” in prices from 2017 through 2020, as well as damage to the value of personal seat licenses following the scandal. In addition, Wallach asked the court to grant an injunction barring Astros executives from increasing ticket prices for at least two years.
The Astros declined to comment on the lawsuit, first reported by the Houston Chronicle.
The lawsuit is one of several cases that have emerged since an MLB investigation uncovered evidence that Astros players engaged in a systematic, technology-based effort to steal signs from opposing teams. The team used video technology to steal signs and a signaling system involving bangs on a trash can to alert Astros players to the upcoming pitch type.
MLB fined the Astros $5 million and handed out one-year bans to manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. Both men were subsequently fired.
However, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has faced widespread criticism in recent days because no Astros players were disciplined. The league opted not to strip the Astros of their 2017 World Series win.