When Reed Exhibitions announced yesterday that they are ‘postponing’ (I’m guessing forever) the gargantuan Eastern Sports And Outdoor Show, they may have shot themselves in the contractual foot with the litigation equivalent of a .505 Gibbs. Why? Because they pulled the rug out from under more than 1,200 vendors, who’ve each paid thousands of dollars in booth fees and travel expenses. Reed is has promised to refund their booth rental fees, but . . .

That won’t pay the vendors back for their travel expenses and lost business opportunities. The show is estimated to generate $44 million in direct spending from vendors and attendees, and $80 million in lost revenue for the local economy.

There’s already talk of a class-action lawsuit against Reed Exhibitions. As everything does, the success or failure of such litigation will all come down to the fine print. Class certification is almost a no-brainer, since there are so many potential plaintiffs (the vendors) and them are suing the same defendant (Reed) for the same act (canceling the show) under the same theory of liability (breach of contract.) The only thing that each vendor/plaintiff would have to individually prove is the amount of their damages.

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