Bitter Dunkin’ Donuts stadium construction lawsuit heads to trial

Source: https://www.hartfordbusiness.com, June 3, 2019
By: Greg Bordonaro

A bitter lawsuit between the city of Hartford and the fired former developer of Dunkin’ Donuts Park is finally coming to a head.

The trial between the city and Centerplan Construction Co./DoNo Hartford LLC, which argues it was wrongfully terminated from the stadium development and is suing for $90 million, is scheduled to start Wednesday, while a pre-trial hearing and jury selection is expected to start today.

The city hired Centerplan and DoNo Hartford LLC, both controlled by Robert Landino, in early 2015 to oversee development of Dunkin’ Donuts Park, home to the minor-league Double A Hartford Yard Goats baseball team, but the project quickly faced problems.

Faulty construction and other delays created over $10 million in cost overruns that forced the Yard Goats to play its inaugural season entirely on the road.

The city filed a counterclaim against Centerplan and DoNo in Oct. 2017, alleging breach of contract, negligence and professional malpractice — much of it related to alleged defects and deficiencies in the stadium design.

Responding to that countersuit, Centerplan and DoNo denied that they’re liable to the city for any damages suffered as a result of design defects, or that they were negligent with respect to the supervision or management of the design services related to the stadium.

At one point, Centerplan argued that damages the city suffered resulted from negligence, carelessness, omissions or other actions by six design subcontractors. Centerplan and DoNo claimed they performed no design work themselves, and that the design and construction of the stadium were  in the hands of third-party contractors that should have to pay any financial damages that may result.

Despite the ongoing legal dispute, Ballpark Digest has named Dunkin’ Donuts Park the best Double-A ballpark in the country for the past few years.

He said in March that his project is nearly shovel ready.

Standing in his way is the lawsuit. Centerplan has placed liens on all the city’s DoNo parcels, which means development can’t move forward until the case is resolved.

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