An ongoing situation where parents and boosters for the Springville High School band have not received repayment for a canceled trip has resulted in the attorney for the St. Clair Board of Education, John Rea, filing a complaint on their behalf in the Circuit Court for St. Clair County Southern Division in Pell City.
The defendant listed is Musical Destinations Inc., a travel company based out of Winter Garden, Florida. According to the complaint provided by Rea, Musical Destinations has a long-standing reputation of providing travel services for schools all across St. Clair and Alabama. Joseph H. Cooper is listed in the complaint as the sole incorporator for Musical Destinations.
The complaint describes the series of events that have led to legal action being taken.
In late 2019, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the parties entered into an agreement that would provide the Springville High School band, along with chaperones and staff, with transportation, hotel accommodations and admission tickets to a Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida from March 17-22, 2020.
The trip was canceled due to the pandemic and Disney ultimately closing their resorts. Because of this, boosters expected full repayment for services that were never used due to the cancellation. The complaint says Cooper promised this repayment as well.
However, repayment of $105,865 has still yet to take place. To make matters worse, communication has broken down between Cooper and the plaintiffs.
“Unfortunately, despite repeated requests, Musical Destinations and Cooper have failed to fulfill their promise to refund the sums paid for the Trip, and Cooper and Musical Destinations have stopped responding to inquiries about the promised refund,” the complaint says.
The plaintiffs were able to prove through their own discovery that Musical Destinations should have 100 percent of the funds provided to them by the boosters. They never paid for the hotel rooms and also received refunds from the transportation provider for the trip. Furthermore, they claimed to have received refunds for the Disney admission tickets.
Communication ultimately broke down later in the Summer of 2020, when the complaint says Cooper told the plaintiff’s he “’got fully refunded on [the] Disney tickets’ for Plaintiffs’ Trip. Unfortunately, Cooper and Musical Destinations never paid that refund to Plaintiffs as promised.”
The plaintiffs are bringing seven counts against the defendants. Cooper and Musical Destinations Inc. will now be served by private process server. The plaintiffs are demanding trial by struck jury.