Judge orders a Weymouth ticket agency to pay a Dorchester man $25 in damages for attempting to charge him exorbitant fees for Red Sox tickets in 2005.
Admit One Ticket Agency has struck out in court.
And giant killer Colman Herman of Dorchester just knocked another one out of the park.
Quincy District Court Judge Mark Coven has ordered a Weymouth ticket agency to pay Herman $25 in damages for attempting to charge him exorbitant fees for Boston Red Sox tickets in 2005.
In a decision announced Monday following a jury-waived trial last month, Coven ruled that Admit One had violated the state’s consumer protection law.
Coven told Admit One that it must stop the practice of passing on the acquisition costs of a ticket beyond the its face value plus a service charge, membership fee, office expenses and cost of processing credit card orders.
Admit One is also prohibited from charging a membership fee on a per ticket basis which is established as a percentage of the price per ticket, the judge ruled.
“This is not a nostalgic portrayal of a time now past, but it does place in context the legislative recognition through the anti-scalping law that prices should not prevent the people of Massachusetts from the pleasure of a visit to Fenway Park,” Coven stated.
Herman sued Admit One for allegedly trying to sell him a ticket to a Red Sox game with the New York Yankees for $500, and another against the Baltimore Orioles for $165. He was told the face value of a ticket to any game was “about $85.”
A decades-old anti-scalping law, which was amended in 1980, allows agencies to resell tickets for their face value plus $2 and a service charge that covers the cost of procuring the ticket.
Herman, who represented himself at the trial, had argued the state Department of Public Safety had never enforced the law.
Neither Herman nor a spokesman for the ticket agency could be reached for comment about the decision.
Admit One promotes itself in ads as the top selling agency for Red Sox tickets nationwide.
Herman has also won court battles to enforce consumer protection laws against retailers such as Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Staples and the Shaw’s supermarket chain in the past few years.
In his decision, Coven referred to himself as a lifelong Sox fan who paid $3 for a Fenway box seat to cheer his childhood heroes that included Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Conigliaro, George Scott, Jim Lonborg and other members of 1967’s Impossible Dream team.
Coven refused to consider the ticket agency’s claim that Herman wasn’t harmed because he decided against buying the tickets.
“The plaintiff (Herman) actively sought to obtain the benefit for which the defendant (Admit One) was granted by the Commonwealth a license,” the judge wrote. “He sought to obtain tickets that would allow his attendance at baseball games at a price fixed by statute. Plaintiff was denied this opportunity. The defendant’s business practice obstructed the right to which plaintiff was entitled.”
Most of the trial was held behind closed doors as a result of a recent ruling from the state Supreme Judicial Court that the price Admit One pays for tickets and whom it buys them from should not be made public.
The judge said Admit One reported a profit of $275,977 from the 1,128 Red Sox tickets it bought from sources in 2005.
In a footnote, Coven suggested the Attorney General’s office might want to investigate how the company was able to obtain such a large number of tickets for resale to rabid Sox and other baseball fans.
Dennis Tatz of The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Mass.) may be reached at email@example.com.