What to do if my son’s travel team had us buy plane tickets to a tournament for which the team’s participation was not confirmed?

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What to do if my son’s travel team had us buy plane tickets to a tournament for which the team’s participation was not confirmed?

My son plays hockey on a travel team. We were told by our organization to book airfare for a tournament. Now our organization is telling us that the tournament will not let us play because our teams roster is a higher level than what we applied for. Basically the organization had us book airfare before they received any confirmation that we had been accepted in this tournament. The organization doesn’t want to take responsibility and compensate for the loss of money from the airfares. Can anything legal be done in this situation?

Asked on November 3, 2014 under Business Law, Arizona

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the organization for breach of contract.  A contract existed because you detrimentally relied on the organization telling you to book airfare for the tournament.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the amount you paid for the airfare.

In addition to a cause of action (claim) for breach of contract, your lawsuit should include a separate cause of action (claim) for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a similar organization would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm.  In other words, the organization failed to exercise due care by telling you to buy airline tickets prior to confirming the team's participation in the tournament.

In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty of care (discussed above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care (discussed above), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.

Actual cause means but for the organization telling you to buy airline tickets, would you have bought the tickets?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, actual cause has been established.

Proximate cause means are there any unforseeable, intervening acts which would relieve the organization of liability?  If the answer is no, the organization is liable for negligence.

Damages as discussed above would be the amount you paid for the airline tickets.


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