DraftKings MA class action moved to Business Litigation court

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The class action lawsuit filed by DraftKings patrons in Massachusetts is heading for a venue change.

Last week, the Massachusetts Superior Court of Middlesex County granted DraftKings’s request to transfer the case to the state’s Business Litigation Session of the Superior Court (BLS).

The plaintiffs, working with the Public Health Advocacy Institute, filed the class action in December, alleging that the $1,000 sign-up offer from DraftKings was deceptive.

The BLS is specifically designed to handle legal business disputes using two-judge teams from the Superior Court to weigh in on cases. This case has been delegated to the team of Judge Debra Squires-Lee and Judge Kenneth Salinger.

DraftKings argued for the transfer was appropriate because the class action relates to alleged unfair business practices and that is a case that would require “close case management” and benefit from the close oversight of BLS. The sportsbook also made it clear it intends to file a motion to dismiss once it is in the care of BLS.

The transfer comes over the objections of plaintiffs Melissa Scanlon and Shane Harris. In a filing objecting to the move, the pair argued that the Middlesex Superior Court was more than qualified to handle matters of consumer protections and deceptive advertising.

Additionally, the motion argued that Scanlon specifically chose Middlesex County where she resides, so to move the court over to BLS, which is in Suffolk County, moves the case into the defendant’s home turf.

Finally, the plaintiffs argued that there was not going to be an onerous amount of discovery in the case that the argument that the Middlesex County court lacked the resources to hear it lacked merit.

At the heart of the case is the sign-up offer, which claimed to give users $1,000 in bet credits. Scanlon and Harris argued that the offer failed to properly foreground the fine print of the offer, which included the fact users needed to deposit $5,000 in order to get the full $1,000 offer and that those $1,000 of credits would not be released without betting at least $25,000 on the app.