College sues journey corporation owner for fraud right after trip cancelation amid COVID-19 pandemic

Wintertime Backyard, Fla. – An Alabama college district has submitted a lawsuit versus a Central Florida travel company soon after its large school marching band’s vacation to Walt Disney Entire world was canceled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The St. Clair County Board of Schooling accused Musical Destinations Inc. of fraud and breach of agreement for allegedly failing to concern $105,865 in refunds to the band when the topic parks quickly shut last spring.

Musical Locations arranges transportation, lodges, eating, concept park tickets and functions for youth groups accomplishing at Walt Disney Earth and Common Orlando, in accordance to the company’s web page.

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“We ended up meant to get a total refund for the total expense of the trip due to the fact we could not make the journey, primarily based on the pandemic,” Superintendent Mike Howard stated. “We have not been given any money as of still.”

The operator of Musical Locations, Joseph “Jody” Cooper, is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Cooper has not responded to several e-mails, voicemails and textual content messages from News 6 searching for comment.

“The representations produced by Cooper and Musical Locations have been false, and Defendants knew they were bogus,” the college district lawsuit states.

At least 7 educational facilities in Alabama and Ga are seeking to get refunds from Musical Destinations subsequent pandemic-similar trip cancelations.

Nearly 100 pupils and 70 chaperones from Springville Significant College planned to journey to Walt Disney Globe the week of March 17.

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Disney introduced on March 12, 2020, that it would quickly close concept parks starting off March 16, 2020, a person working day in advance of the university team was scheduled to arrive.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a point out of crisis on March 13, 2020, because of to the coronavirus pandemic and closed community schools for much more than two weeks.

In the lawsuit filed in an Alabama circuit courtroom, the St. Clair County Board of Training and the Springville Band Boosters claim Cooper agreed to problem refunds.

“If we get a refund from a seller, you are acquiring back again all of that funds,” Cooper advised college officials, according to the lawsuit.

Cooper educated university leaders in March that he had not still received refunds from the hotel exactly where the vacationers were being scheduled to keep, the lawsuit alleges.

Nonetheless, faculty officials claim they later on learned that the lodge reservations have been canceled just before any payments were produced by Musical Locations.

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Associates from a transportation service provider informed school officers the corporation experienced issued a refund to Musical Locations on March 16, the lawsuit states.

Far more than a few weeks afterwards, Cooper instructed faculty officers, “we have not nevertheless gained a refund from [the transportation provider]”, in accordance to the lawsuit.

Even though Cooper reportedly acknowledged getting a refund for the group’s Disney theme park tickets, he under no circumstances shared that revenue with the college district, the lawsuit alleges.

Cooper has considering the fact that ceased communications with school officials, in accordance to the superintendent.

“The distributors have returned the dollars to the proprietor of the corporation, and but the owner still has not returned ours,” Howard told Information 6. “The faculty and the booster club did anything they could to function with the individual to get the money back.”

The superintendent indicated that students’ families are eager to get refunds.

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“Some dad and mom have misplaced employment. Some have been fiscally strained since of the pandemic,” mentioned Howard. “It is unquestionably unfair to these tricky-performing mother and father.”

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