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Oct. 20, 2020

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Suit against Vancouver marathon, Energy Events dropped

2017 event was canceled a month before race day for lack of participation

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:
2 Photos
Runners take part in the Vancouver USA Marathon near Vancouver Lake on June 19, 2016. The 2017 Vancouver USA Marathon was canceled about a month before the race, prompting a proposed class-action lawsuit in federal court over registration fees.
Runners take part in the Vancouver USA Marathon near Vancouver Lake on June 19, 2016. The 2017 Vancouver USA Marathon was canceled about a month before the race, prompting a proposed class-action lawsuit in federal court over registration fees. (The Columbian files) Photo Gallery

A proposed class-action lawsuit filed against Energy Events LLC — the company that staged the Vancouver USA Marathon — on behalf of all Oregon consumers who registered for the 2017 race has been voluntarily dismissed.

The suit, which alleged unlawful trade practices and unjust profit at another’s expense, was dismissed Feb. 4, according to a notice of dismissal filed in U.S. District Court in Portland.

The Portland law office Olsen Daines filed the complaint in August 2017 on behalf of Cory Bradley, following the cancellation of the 2017 Vancouver USA Marathon, and sought a jury trial for restitution over registration fees.

Bradley argued that Energy Events misled registrants by canceling the Sept. 17 race and refusing to give them a full refund. Bradley said he and his wife were out $183.24 in registration fees, the suit stated.

Organizers announced the cancellation of the marathon Aug. 18, citing low pre-registration numbers.

The Vancouver USA Marathon had attracted more than 3,000 participants each year. But just a month before race day, pre-registration was only about 65 percent of that. Race organizers attributed the low turnout to a course-marking error the year prior — the 2016 race was 1,126 feet short. That error led to the Boston Marathon announcing it would not accept any qualification times from the marathon.

Brian Davis, owner of Energy Events, filed a motion to dismiss the suit Jan. 23, citing a couple of reasons.

He said that Energy Events no longer owned the Vancouver USA Marathon. The company reportedly sold the race to VUM Services Inc. in November 2016. Davis said he stayed involved, however, while the race was handed off, but he nor his company had access to the collected registration fees, court records state.

Davis also argued that the initial plaintiff, Bradley, was given a full refund for his registration fees days after his suit was filed.

Portland attorney Michael Fuller of Olsen Daines confirmed that his client received a refund, but said it was not for the full amount.

Fuller said Monday that they dismissed the suit against Energy Events because Davis had filed for bankruptcy July 27. Because of the timing, most people would be unable to participate in a class-action, including Bradley. People would have had to register for the race after the bankruptcy was filed to have a claim.

Fuller did not know if VUM Services Inc. had in fact purchased the race, as stated in Davis’ response, he said.

In October, Why Racing Events announced it would hold a new race to replace the Vancouver USA Marathon.

The event, Appletree Marathon, Half Marathon & Sunset 5K, is set for Sept. 15 and 16. The new event loops around historic sites in Vancouver and is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, according to Why Racing Events’ website.

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