In 2015, the Miami Marlins were ready to "live in the lap of luxury" after the team contracted with a swanky private jet company that promised to whisk players away on a Boeing 767-200 with couches, a massage table, and a premium open bar.
Instead, a new lawsuit says the charter service reneged on the deal, forcing the Fish to slum it on "various low-quality replacement aircraft."
That company, the New Hampshire-based Private Jet Services Group (PJS), "breached the agreement by failing to provide the Marlins with the promised aircraft containing the specific, high-quality standards," reads the complaint, filed September 21 in Miami-Dade circuit court.
"The Marlins paid
It's not clear from the complaint exactly what amenities the team was not afforded on the substitute charter planes; neither the Marlins' attorney nor the jet company returned calls from New Times seeking clarification.
The announcement that the team would fly to and from games on the swanky planes came in 2015 as owner Jeffrey Loria tried to make good on promises to take the franchise into a prosperous new era. As for the
"Our job is to keep the best team we can on the field as long as possible," he told ESPN. "If you're crumpled up with your legs dangling over your armrest, that's not the prime way to be ready to play the next day."
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According to the terms of the contract with PJS, the company was to provide a Boeing 757 with up to 92 first-class seats for the 2015 to 2018 MLB seasons. The jet was to come with onboard WiFi, a dedicated concierge to make all travel arrangements, and catering services with china, linens, and a premium open bar.
But the Marlins claim that as the 2015 season began, the company flew the team around on low-quality planes that weren't up to par. Worse, with only two months remaining in the season, the jet service said "it would be unable to provide the Marlins any aircraft at all," the complaint alleges. As a result, the team had to scramble to find alternate arrangements, which came at a steep cost.
The Marlins also say the company kept the "full payment" made by the team in 2015. No dollar figure is specified, but the contract says the first payment of $598,500 was due January 9, 2015.
PJS has yet to respond to the team's allegations in court. Marlins management did not respond to several messages New Times left with headquarters this week.