Delta-Turner lawsuit can proceed

February 5, 2009
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U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff has rejected a motion made by the Convention and Arena Authority and SMG to dismiss a lawsuit that was last June filed by Delta-Turner LLC, which owns the DeltaPlex Arena and Convention Center in Walker.

The ruling allows Delta-Turner to proceed with antitrust claims against the CAA and SMG. The plaintiff alleges the defendants struck an unfair deal with concert promoter Live Nation Inc. in an attempt to monopolize the region’s concert industry.

The lawsuit also claims that the CAA and SMG violated the open meetings act and the freedom of information act. Delta-Turner is reportedly seeking damages of seven figures.

“Obviously, we’re pleased with her opinion and are looking forward to discovery in this matter,” said Douglas Van Essen, a partner at Silver & Van Essen PC and attorney for Delta-Turner.

Van Essen also said the two sides would go into mediation to resolve the matter.

The CAA oversees operations of Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place. SMG conducts daily operations at both buildings for the CAA.

The Business Journal was unable to reach CAA Chairman Steven Heacock and SMG Regional General Manager Rich MacKeigan for comment.

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