Money Problems for Former Owners

The New Hampshire Insurance Company has a lawsuit against them filed by Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment LLC. The lawsuit is based on claims of breach of contract stemming from settlement claims made by Danny Ferry. Both Ferry and the LLC are former general manager and ownership group of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team. The former controlling partner for AHBE is Bruce Levenson,

The lawsuit has nothing to do with current ownership of the team whose principle owner now is Tony Ressler. The suit filed now sits in the Superior Court of Fulton County. It is being handled as a civil action for breach of contract and insurance bad faith, and names the insurance company as AIG as the defendant. According to AHBE, their insurance policy is to cover particular losses related to employment, which include but are not limited to, acts of “Wrongful Termination” and “Workplace Torts”. The court documents state that AHBE did give notice to AIG of claims started by Ferry believed to be covered.

Spokesperson for the current Hawks ownership says that they are aware of the complaint made in court. The representative also states that the principle parties involved in the matter no longer have any business with the Atlanta Hawks. Furthermore they have no more to say about the matter. These words follow the sale of the Atlanta Hawks which many thought would bring more to the table. To be fair, the price Forbes set for the team stands pretty to close to what it sold for. The situation and circumstances resulting from the timing of Ferry’s actions and of UCG chairman Bruce Levenson’s communications to his colleagues have their potential consequences.

The amount of the claim is confidential as far as the court documents go. The lawsuit states that the limits of liability in the policy should be sufficient to pay off the claims made. The reasoning in the lawsuit follows that AIG refuses to recognize the claim ever being made and also refuses to admit the policy has been triggered. Add to that, the lawsuit points to AIG’s repeated refusal to defend claims or accept coverage during discussions. It comes down to failure to pay for losses that resulted from settlement. The lawsuit says there is an unfulfilled obligation by the insurance company to pay when Ferry’s claims fall within policy coverage.