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One Loudoun, VIP lawsuit continued in light of CEO’s throat cancer

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The long legal battle between Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP), the group originally hoping to bring baseball to Loudoun in the form of the Loudoun Hounds, and One Loudoun in Ashburn remains ongoing after a judge in Circuit Court granted a continuation for VIP Oct. 2 in light of health concerns of a major VIP stakeholder.

One Loudoun filed suit in August 2014 against VIP and its CEO, Bob Farren, attempting to terminate a lease signed in December 2012. The developers at One Loudoun allege VIP failed to build the stadium off route 7 and Loudoun County Parkway by April 2014, nor had it been completed or begun by the time the lawsuit was filed..

The dates for the trial, originally set for Oct. 27 to Oct. 30, have been moved to March 14-16 and reduced to three days.

Miller and Smith, the developers of One Loudoun, want the lease terminated, and VIP threw a $30,000 countersuit back at them, saying One Loudoun changed the lease agreement. Initially, One Loudoun was in charge of prepping the site pad for the project, according to Farren’s attorney, Bruce McLaughlin. The change had VIP in charge of the prep work.

“Our contention is this requirement was outside the contract,” McLaughlin told the Times-Mirror. This is what caused the delay, a loss of $30,000 and “ultimately breach of contract by One Loudoun in failing to deliver the site pad as originally approved by county,” he said.

The county signed off on the project in April 2013.

The judge also rejected one of VIP’s expert witnesses it planned to call to prove its countersuit. The rejection makes their case harder but doesn’t mean it’s not provable, McLaughlin said.

The moved dates were granted in light Farren’s stage three throat cancer, a condition he learned of only recently, according to his attorney. Farren’s doctor wrote a letter on his behalf, saying the stress of a trial and preparation for it could hinder chemotherapy and surgery.

Currently, Farren has had difficulty swallowing, and the spread to his lymphnodes has begun to affect his speaking, McLaughlin said.

“He came across the battle pretty quickly,” McLaughlin said. “He didn’t have a swallowing problem until literally when he learned … Bob is a crucial employee I need him as primary employee to prep the case, and I couldn’t do that without him.”

Despite Farren being the last remaining member of VIP’s board and his cancer, his attorney said he’s fully capable of representing the company and said the board is not compromised.

“We’re just biding our time and looking for Bob to get a speedy recovery,” he said. “We’re confident that we have a pretty strong case...Despite this temporary mishap he’ll be bouncing back and be back in the saddle shortly.”

In the meantime, the VIP lot at One Loudoun remains unused and unfruitful. The pushed back trial date means yet longer One Loudoun will wait before it can secure a new tenant for the spot it initially slated for the stadium. With multiple calls for summary judgements and a speedier decision denied, One Loudoun loses money as its lot sits empty, the developers have said.

One Loudoun said in one of its more recent unsuccessful requests for summary judgement “the question presented … is simply whether the December 2012 ground lease … terminated on July 25, 2014,” not who is to blame for the violation or who violated it first.


Related coverage:

-New documents shed light on Hounds-One Loudoun stadium dispute
-One Loudoun seeks to terminate stadium lease; looks for new baseball and soccer owners

Comments


One Loudoun loses money as its lot sits empty, the developers have said. Anyone here residential, York!

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