Chicago’s Shane Campbell filed a lawsuit against Frieze Events on Friday, the New York Times first reported, alleging negligence on the fair’s part in not adequately preparing for record-high temperatures that the gallery says contributed to significant losses in sales by exhibitors. The lawsuit, jointly names Shane Campbell and Julie Campbell as plaintiffs who hope it will be granted class action status; they are currently requesting $15 million plus damages. In a statement to artnet News provided by her lawyer, Julie Campbell said:
“This case is not about us [...] It’s about holding a professional organization responsible for the losses caused by its failure to provide functional space. All the galleries invest so much to set up a booth at the fair. Frieze simply did not do their job.”
Last Thursday, Frieze sent an email to galleries offering a 10% refund of their booth charges, with a minimum $1,000 reimbursement. The announcement followed an earlier acknowledgement by the fair that there would be some form of monetary reimbursement for the difficult conditions inside the Frieze tent, which dealers said forced some clients to leave the fair early this year and others not to come at all. It followed severe weather at Frieze New York’s 2017 edition, which caused it to close early one day due to the threat of flooding. Frieze plans to launch a third fair, in Los Angeles in February 2019.