Friday, January 21, 2011

Lawsuit Claims Thrash On Sale Block Since '05 As ASG Sues King & Spalding

((HT: AJC/Swartz))

The Atlanta Journal Constitution says that the 7-man ownership group of the Atlanta Thrashers, Atlanta Spirit LLC, tried selling the team back in 2005 but couldn't do so thanks to a flawed contract.

The assertion is part of a US$200-million malpractice lawsuit that ASG has against the King and Spalding law firm. The team has lost US$130-million over the last five years and the team's value has, according to Forbes Magazine numbers, has decreased by US$50-million. The law firm's "negligence" in the eyes of ASG cost the seven partners $US14.5-million in legal fees.

How 'bout dat...???

The HQ fails to be surprised as we've trumpeted these issues over the last few years...

From the filing itself:

“(The) Plaintiffs inability to buy out Belkin’s interest in a timely manner and the resulting cloud on their title created by the Maryland litigation interfered with operation of the franchises and specifically prevented Plaintiffs from selling the Atlanta Thrashers.”

Michael Gearon, ASG managing partner sayeth quote in an e-mail:

“My partners and I regret having to file a lawsuit. But King & Spalding made egregious errors that caused us to be tied up in litigation for five years and cost us an enormous amount of money, time, and anguish.”

The malpractice case will have no effect on the Hawks and Thrashers. We are very pleased with their performance so far this season, and we will continue to focus on winning games and providing an exciting experience for our fans.

Regardless of the lawsuit that has been filed, we have always been committed to finding solutions that keep the Thrashers here in Atlanta.

Because of the pending lawsuit, our lawyers have requested that we not comment on specific facts and allegations.”

Of course...

Apparently, ASG wanted to sell after the lockout sensing increased franchise values after the negotiations with the NHLPA were finalized. ASG claims King and Spalding committed the malpractice and maintained a conflict of interest during the protracted lawsuits between ASG and partner Steve Belkin over a five-year period.

Yeah, it's a mess.

ASG wants a jury trial, compensatory and consequential damages, punitive damages, pre-judgment interest and attorneys fees, the lawsuit says.

Yeah, good luck with that...
We'll keep you posted...

Read the complaint if you have a lot of time on your hands... it's 40 pages long

Here's the first playoff game in Thrashers history...
The only series in Thrashers history...
Something everyone involved was looking for more than it has currently happened...
((HT: NHL Video/SportSouth))

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