Six Flags will allow free admission and other benefits to eligible members after settling a class-action lawsuit alleging the company charged season pass holders during the COVID-19 closures.
In October, a class-action lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court against Six Flags, the Cook County Record reported.
Attorneys with the firms of KamberLaw and Bursor & Fisher brought the lawsuit on behalf of plaintiff Ryan Strassburger of Chicago.
The lawsuit says that Strassburger, along with many other members across the country, had a membership with Six Flags since 2019.
Strassburger and other members would pay monthly for access to any of Six Flags’ 26 theme parks in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Strassburger bought the membership plan primarily to visit Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, the complaint said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Six Flags closed all of its parks, including Great America, before the start of the spring and summer 2020 operating seasons.
Many parks reopened during the summer, but Great America remained closed throughout 2020.
The lawsuit says that Six Flags continued to collect monthly payments throughout the year, which ranged from $7.85 to $42, depending on the membership plan chosen in addition to free admission.
After 11 months of litigation, both sides reached a deal, the Cook County Record reported.
Six Flags agreed to give current and former members free admission to the park and access to their membership benefits along with potential perks for a varying amount of time.
The benefits would be determined based on membership status, which can be active, paused, or canceled between March 13, 2020, to September 10, 2021.
Six Flags agreed that members who kept their memberships active or paused would be “given one free month of membership for each month they were charged” while their home park remained closed during 2020.
Active and paused members can also be given a “gift card in the amount of the monthly membership charges that can be used at any park in the U.S.”
Additionally, those members would receive “upgraded membership status” to a higher tier with more benefits, according to the agreement.
Those who canceled their membership would receive a “complimentary admission ticket for each six months they were charged” during the pandemic period defined in the agreement.
Those who received a refund during the pandemic period are not eligible for any settlement proceeds.
Cook County Circuit Judge Sophia Hall granted preliminary approval to the settlement on September 10.
The Cook County Record reports that the settle documents posted so far do not estimate a cash value for the benefits Six Flags would provide to its members.
The attorneys for the plaintiffs have not yet requested attorney fees from the court, the Cook County Record reported.
Settlement documents indicate the attorneys could receive up to $1.2 million to cover their litigation costs.
A final approval hearing is scheduled for December 15.