University sues over canceled charter flight

A Mesa County jury may have to settle a dispute over a canceled charter flight for Colorado Mesa University’s football team, which CMU claims left it scrambling for another flight costing an extra $18,000 while forcing the school to bus some of its players to and from the West Coast.

A lawsuit filed by CMU alleges breach of contract by 
Iowa-based STM Charters, which CMU claims was paid $75,000 to fly the football team from Grand Junction to Arcadia, Calif., for a game on Aug. 30, 2012, against Humboldt State.

CMU claims it learned eight days before the game that the flight was canceled.

In the lawsuit, CMU alleges the president of STM confirmed by email and phone that the charter flight for the Aug. 30 game was confirmed, provided the company was paid by Aug. 24.

A contract was signed Aug. 20 and sent to STM and payment was made the next day, according to the university’s lawsuit.

On Aug. 22, CMU was told the charter flight was “no longer available.”

“As a result of STM’s breach of contract to find and provide a charter flight for the CMU football team, CMU’s purchasing department scrambled to find a replacement charter flight,” the lawsuit alleges.

“Ultimately, it found a flight for the team, but the total cost of substituted flight plus needed ground transportation (not previously needed if the Allegiant flight had come through as agreed to) was $93,000,” the lawsuit reads.

CMU claims damages of $18,000, not accounting for attorney fees and “related court costs to investigate, research and bring this action.”

STM, however, denies ever receiving a signed contract from CMU.

CMU’s losses were “caused by events over which the defendant had no control and for which the defendant is not legally responsible,” the company wrote in response.

The case is scheduled for trial in Mesa County on Aug. 27.


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