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Lawsuit between Sens owner Eugene Melnyk and developer John Ruddy will go ahead
The battle between Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and business partner John Ruddy over a proposed new downtown arena has escalated. Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk speaks with the media in Ottawa on Sept. 7, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
The court case between Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and Trinity Development Group appears to be going ahead.
CTV News has confirmed lawyers for both sides met by conference call Wednesday to work out dates and timelines for the upcoming court proceedings.
In November 2018, Melnyk, under his company Capital Sports Management Inc. (CSMI), sued his former RendezVous Lebreton partner Trinity Development Group, including Chairman John Ruddy and Consultant Graham Bird. The $700 million lawsuit claimed “the joint venture failed because of an egregious conflict of interest on the part of Trinity” and Ruddy.
Melnyk and Ruddy through their RendezVous Lebreton plan, had won the bid to develop the NCC land at Lebreton Flats. The project would have included an NHL arena and condominiums.
In the lawsuit Melnyk claimed Lebreton “failed” due to an alleged conflict of interest. The lawsuit alleging Trinity’s other condominium development at 900 Albert Street was in “direct competition” with the RendezVous Lebreton project.
Trinity group fired back, launching a $1 billion countersuit in December 2018. In the countersuit, Trinity Development and Ruddy say Melnyk's lawsuit is 'meritless' and the claim against John Ruddy is 'especially scandalous.'
The countersuit claims the following: "CSMI and its guiding-mind principal, officer and director, Eugene Melnyk, together with other CSMI executives, including then CEO Cyril Leeder knew about 900 Albert from the outset of the RLG Joint Venture... 900 Albert was an integral part of the CSMI/Trinity relationship."
The Trinity Development lawsuit also claims Melnyk's position on a new downtown arena was to have it funded by Trinity and City of Ottawa taxpayers.
According to the countersuit, "CSMI's and Melnyk's true aim is to have the City of Ottawa or Trinity fund and build the $500 million event centre for the Ottawa Senators hockey team, with the Senators getting 30 years' free rent. CSMI also wants the valuable naming rights and an unreasonable degree of control over the Lebreton project."
A spokesperson for CSMI says none of the future court dates have been released.