Tonawanda News — Stephanie Mateczun, owner of the company that manages the Buffalo Jills cheerleading squad, released a statement through the law firm representing Stejon Productions Corp. in a lawsuit filed recently by five former Jills members.
The plaintiffs claim they worked hundreds of hours unpaid and were subject to hostile conditions including some that were sexual in nature.
Mateczun, in the statement released by Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP, explained that suspending operations was deemed necessary until the legal case could be resolved.
She also criticized the Bills in her statement, which reads in part: “It has also been incredibly disappointing to see the complete lack of accountability on the part of the Buffalo Bills organization as it relates to this complaint.
The Buffalo Bills own the trademark for the Jills; they control the field and everything that happens on that field, from the uniforms the cheerleaders wear to the dances they perform. Yet the organization appears content to attempt to wash their hands of any connection to their own cheerleading squad.
The Buffalo Bills management operates a football team valued by some at nearly $900 million. If people believe they don’t maintain influence and control over every part of their operation, including their cheerleaders, they are mistaken.”
Attorney Dennis Vacco, who is representing Mateczun, pointed out that while the Jills lawsuit dicusses pay it does not point out other perks the cheerleaders were entitled to.
“While much has been said about how the Jills were compensated, there was an extensive list of benefits given to the members of the squad that included free surgical procedures, free gym memberships, free tanning memberships, and free tickets and parking to all Buffalo Bills home games,” Vacco said in a prepared statement.