$34M Could Settle Westfarms, Blue Back Suit

The town of West Hartford and the developers of Blue Back Square say they would accept $34 million to settle a lawsuit with the owners of the Westfarms Mall.

Taubman Centers, the Michigan-based owner of Westfarms, had filed 12 legal actions to stop the development of Blue Back, delaying construction of the retail/residential complex near West Hartford Center that opened in 2007.

In November 2007 the developers of Blue Back Square filed a suit against Taubman for damages of more than $30 million. 

The suit alleges that Taubman Centers “filed or sponsored vexatious legal proceedings and abused legal process in an attempt to thwart the development of the competing BBS project, interfered with contractual relationships with certain tenants of BBS, and violated Connecticut fair trade law,” according to the quarterly report Taubman filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter that ended March 31.

Around the same time, the Town of West Hartford and the West Hartford Town Council filed a similar lawsuit against the company.

“The second lawsuit did not specify any particular amount of damages but similarly requests double and treble damages and punitive damages,” the company wrote in the same SEC report. “
The outcome of these lawsuits cannot be predicted with any certainty and management is currently unable to estimate an amount or range of potential loss that could result if an unfavorable outcome occurs. … There can be no assurance that an adverse outcome would not have a material effect on the Company’s results of operations for any particular period.”

According to court documents, the town and Taubman Centers Inc. reached an offer to compromise on May 6. Taubman has 30 days to respond, the Hartford Courant reports.

The money would cover the money lost in construction delays caused by the suits.

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