The individuals whose lawsuit against the Metropolitan Museum of Art over its pay-as-you-wish admissions policy was partially dismissed by a judge last month have filed a notice of appeal.
Filip Saska, Tomas Nadrchal and Stephen Michelman, the lead plaintiffs in the proposed class action suit, Filip Saska v. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 650775/2013, contend that Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich “overlooked or failed to take into account” the plaintiffs’ legal arguments and “applicable law on key issues” when she dismissed two claims against the museum in her Oct. 29 decision.
Kornreich dismissed claims alleging violation of the 1893 statute providing that the museum be kept “free of charge” on certain days out of the week and violation of General Business Law §349 regarding the museum’s suggested donation policy. The judge held that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue under what she deemed an appropriations act; that the suit would undermine the Met’s objective to educate the public by reducing its operations funding; and that the plaintiffs cannot assert legal rights under the 1878 lease between the city and museum since they are not intended third-party beneficiaries.
According to the Nov. 12 notice, filed by Arnold Weiss of Weiss & Hiller and Andrew Celli, Jr. of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, the plaintiffs’ appeal will pertain to “each and every aspect” of the ruling. An attached statement contends that the judge reached conclusions “not based on acceptable evidence in the record” and did not apply “the proper standard of review on a motion to dismiss.”
The companion case is Grunewald v. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 158002/2012.
The remaining non-severed claims in the lawsuit, for which defendant’s firm Arnold & Porter has not yet moved to dismiss, allege misrepresentation on part of the museum in its marketing of the “suggested” $25 adult admissions fee.
The parties have stipulated to a stay in proceedings of those remaining claims until 15 days after the Appellate Division, First Department rules on the appeal.
According to a letter from Celli to the trial court, a stay will “promote both judicial economy and the efficient use of the parties’ resources.”
Kornreich so-ordered the stipulation Monday.