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Trial dates set in litigation over failed CityCenter project

Two civil lawsuits related to the unfinished CityCenter casino and resort on the Las Vegas Strip have been scheduled to commence, though the trial dates are not for many months. The Clark County District Court judge overseeing the litigation set a June 2013 trial date for one case and the second will not begin until January 2014 at the earliest.

The first case is over $191 million in construction invoices that contractors say were not paid. The would-be casino-resort, construction of which was abandoned in 2010, was to include a hotel named the Harmon Hotel. In the case now set for 2014, CityCenter and MGM Resorts International, the part-owner of the project, accuse Tutor Perini Building Corp., the general contractor for the Harmon, of allowing defects in the construction that forced construction to halt.

Inspections allegedly uncovered missing or improperly installed reinforcing steel. For its part, Perini says that the defects in the Harmon construction are due to poor design. It counters that CityCenter and MGM is using the lawsuit as a pretext to make their money back on a project that it actually stopped due to the downturn in the economy.

Meanwhile, the half-finished building remains. CityCenter wants to demolish it, calling it a safety hazard in the event of an earthquake. The judge previously granted permission to demolish the building, she withdrew that order at the same time she split the case into two.

As we have previously discussed in this blog, the CityCenter’s failure has also been the subject of several lawsuits filed against MGM by shareholder groups. The plaintiffs complained that MGM executives withheld information about problems with the project, causing the business’ share price to drop.

Source: VEGAS INC, “Harmon Hotel case to be tied up in court well into 2014,” Steve Green, Dec. 4, 2012

John P. Aldrich
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