CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Friday filed a lawsuit against the company that tried to stage this summer's canceled Dirty Girl Mud Run.
Morrisey's office filed its suit Friday in Kanawha Circuit Court against Human Movement Inc., which is based in Colorado.
According to the complaint, Human Movement allegedly was engaged in a protracted buyout of the Dirty Girl Mud Run brand from 100 LLC. As the sale began to falter, Human Movement along with its principal owners Jeff Suffolk and Alta Equity Partners allegedly began leveraging the cancellation of the July 26 Charleston event to force 100 LLC into an untenable financial position to force the sale of the company.
The complaint also claims Human Movement broke an agreement between it, the Charleston CVB, and 100 LLC in order to force the event to be canceled. Human Movement succeeded in buying the brand name immediately after the event’s cancellation.
Within 24 hours of the announced cancellation, more than 250 consumer complaints had been filed with the Morrisey's office, and continued to be filed in the following days.
“Many people of this State spent money and made plans to take part in this event and promote a charitable cause," Morrisey said in a statement. "They did not deserve to be treated in this manner."
The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief from Human Movement and the other defendants, as well as equitable relief and civil penalties.
“Despite our previous agreements with 100 LLC and Eventbrite, race participants are still out other expenses they paid in anticipation of the event,” Morrisey said. “It is our hope to make them whole.”
The AG's office and 100 LLC reached an agreement in August to refund the registration fees to about 700 consumers who registered directly with them to participate in the race. Third-party contractor Eventbrite, who facilitated ticket sales for the race, also entered into an agreement to provide refunds to those who registered for the race through their site.
While that amounted to more than $200,000, it did not provide refunds for other expenses incurred by consumers registered for the event.
The complaint seeks to order Human Movement, Suffolk, and Alta to pay a civil penalty of $5,000 for each violation of the Consumer Credit and Protection Act, and pay the State of West Virginia its attorneys’ fees and costs associated with the investigation and civil action.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 14-C-1944