Trinity Development sues Eugene Melnyk, CSMI for $1 billion
Trinity Development is suing Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and Capital Sports Management Inc for $1 billion over its partnership to redevelop Lebreton Flats.
The countersuit was filed in court Tuesday morning, just weeks after Melnyk sued John Ruddy and Trinity Development for $700 million. Melnyk alleges his business partner, John Ruddy, was leveraging the historic redevelopment to grow a nearby condo complex at 900 Albert Street. That is across from the Bayview LRT station and near Lebreton Flats.
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."
Trinity's counterclaim also alleges Melnyk is unable to pay his bills to get the Lebreton plan going. According to court documents filed Tuesday, "CSMI has neglected or evaded its financial obligations... It is fair to infer that CSMI is not financially sound."
In a statement on Tuesday, Ruddy expressed his desire to move forward on the Lebreton project, "Let me be clear, I am committed to moving this project forward. The vision we've brought forward is the right one. I will work with the NCC, the City of Ottawa, and the community at large to advance solutions that will make this project a reality, and avoid losing these important lands for another generation."
The Ottawa Senators group has responded to the $1 B counter lawsuit from Trinity Developments.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) December 18, 2018
They are proposing a solution where the downtown arena is built on time and under the current framework.
Here is the official response: pic.twitter.com/BQwL5i7W6K
And Trinity’s response to the Sens proposal pretty much kills the idea of a joint arena venture. pic.twitter.com/GsocvOEWP7— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) December 18, 2018