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JURY VINDICATES HARTFORD’S DECISION TO TERMINATE FORMER BALLPARK DEVELOPER, REMOVING BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO DEVELOPMENT

JURY VINDICATES HARTFORD’S DECISION TO TERMINATE FORMER BALLPARK DEVELOPER, REMOVING BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO DEVELOPMENT

HARTFORD, CONN (July 2, 2019) – Today a Connecticut Superior Court jury unanimously ruled in favor of the City of Hartford in the lawsuit filed by Centerplan Construction, which was selected by the prior administration in 2015 to build Dunkin’ Park.  Mayor Bronin fired Centerplan in June 2016, and got Centerplan’s insurance company, Arch Insurance, to take responsibility for completing the stadium without additional taxpayer money. 

“Today’s ruling is a complete vindication of our work to protect taxpayers from bearing even more cost to finish the stadium project we inherited,” said Mayor Bronin.  “When we took office, the stadium project was far behind schedule and way over budget, and instead of asking the taxpayers to pay for the developer’s failures, we drew a line in the sand and held the developer accountable.  This is a major victory for the City of Hartford, and we are eager to move forward with the development of the parcels around the ballpark.  I want to thank our legal team, including Corporation Counsel Howard Rifkin and Leslie King and her attorneys at Murtha Cullina, for their outstanding representation of the City over the last three years.  I also want to thank City staff in many departments who spent a tremendous amount of time both getting the stadium built and participating in the litigation, including Sean Fitzpatrick, Mike Looney, and Roger Martin, among many, many others.” 

“First and foremost, I want to thank our legal team and city staff who worked so hard to bring us to this point,” said City Council President Glendowlyn L.H. Thames.  “We stood our ground and protected the interests of Harford residents in this important litigation. Now, with this significant hurdle behind us and a developer already in place, the city is well positioned to accelerate the development of the Downtown North parcels around the ballpark. I look forward to getting shovels in the ground on the first parcel.”

“It has been a privilege to represent the people of Hartford, and we are thrilled that the jury so clearly and thoroughly ruled in the City’s favor,” said Leslie P. King, a partner at Murtha Cullina and the City’s lead outside attorney in all litigation related to the stadium project.  “In the vast majority of development disputes, taxpayers end up bearing the cost of completing the project, so it was a bold decision for Mayor Bronin to fire Centerplan and go to trial.  Today’s verdict demonstrates that it was clearly the right decision.”

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