Redskins Back Off, Tell Va. Grandmother She Doesn't Have to Pay $66,364 Judgment

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By James V. Grimaldi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Washington Redskins notified a Fairfax County woman Friday that the team plans to ask a court to vacate a $66,364 court judgment against her after she defaulted on a multiyear contract for season club tickets.

A real-estate agent, Pat Hill, 72, had signed a $5,300-a-year, 10-year contract through 2017 for two seats at FedEx Field, but was unable to make payments in 2008 after the housing market crashed. The Redskins sued Hill in October for the duration of the contract and won a default judgment in March.

She was one of 125 people and firms who had been sued by the Redskins in the past five years after they defaulted on multiyear contracts to purchase premium seats.

Redskins General Counsel David Donovan wrote to Hill in an e-mail Friday afternoon: "I have directed our outside counsel to notify the courts that your obligation to the Redskins has been satisfied and to vacate the judgment against you. That means you no longer owe the Redskins anything, and you are released from all of your contractual obligations."

Donovan and other Redskins officials did not return phone calls or e-mails from The Washington Post on Friday.

Donovan's e-mail began: "I was sorry to read in the Post your account of your financial difficulties that prevented you from being able to pay for your Redskins Club Seats in 2008. I wish that you had returned our calls in 2008 or reached out to me in response to the letters I and others had sent you and explained your situation. If that had happened, we never would have proceeded with the claim against you."

Hill said she phoned Donovan when she got home Friday night from a day at a real-estate office where she is trying to jump-start her flagging sales practice. She said she told Donovan that she had called the Redskins repeatedly and once drove to the team's ticket office at FedEx Field.

Hill said she had attempted to get a waiver of a year or two in her contract. "I must have talked to them eight or nine times," she said. "I talked to a number of different people."

She said she couldn't afford a lawyer and never responded to the lawsuit.

Hill said Donovan told her that she should have called him directly. She said she told him: "I didn't even know you existed. I don't know you."

Hill said Donovan also told her she should have responded to the team's letters, but she told a reporter Friday, "I got no letters, and every call that was ever made to me was returned, and I physically went down to the Redskins office and explained my situation."

After her phone conversation with Donovan, Hill told The Post: "It is like he is blaming everything on me."


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