A Macomb Township man, along with four other Macomb County residents, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Detroit Institute of Arts claiming that the museum denied the five free admission to the Faberge exhibit.
The lawsuit, filed in Macomb County Circuit Court, argues that this denial violates the museum's promise of free admission to residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties following passage of the DIA millage in August, The Detroit Free Press Reports.
Former state representative Leon Drolet of Macomb Township, Simon Haddad of Clinton Township, Judy and Dennis Buchholtz of Warren, and Philis DeSaele of Sterling Heights are all listed as plaintiffs on the lawsuit, according to court records.
In the lawsuit, Drolet, Hadded and DeSaele claim to have been denied free admission to the Faberge exhibit on Dec. 1.
According to the Art Institute Service Agreement between the Macomb County Art Institute Authority and the DIA, the museum would provide "unlimited, free museum admission for all residents of Macomb County, including self-guided student field trips" should the millage be passed.
The lawsuit alleges that by failing to provide this "unlimited, free museum admission," and charging for special exhibits, it breaches this contract and violates the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, according to The Detroit Free Press.
"The Detroit Institute of Arts lied," Drolet told Local 4, speaking on behalf of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. "They said with this millage passed that people in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties would have unlimited admission to the art museum. And now they are charging people for what they call 'special exhibits.' That's not what's in the contract and that's not what they said in the campaign."
Should the court rule in favor of the residents, the DIA could be required to permanently refrain from collecting any admission fee from Macomb County residents and award the residents $250 each plus attorney’s fees, The Free Press reports.
The musuem has not commented on the lawsuit at this time.