Judge: Meadowlands Mall Lawsuit Against Giants, Jets Can Move Forward
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HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A lawsuit that claims the Giants and Jets are trying to block a $3 billion megamall development across the highway from MetLife Stadium can move forward, a state judge ruled Monday.
Superior Court Judge Peter Doyne’s ruling means the dueling lawsuits over the partially finished building — one by the two football teams, the other by developer Triple Five — will live on and continue to delay completion of a project that began more than 10 years ago and was originally scheduled to open in 2007.
Canada-based Triple Five sued the Giants and Jets in July, accusing the teams of tortuously interfering with the project and making unrealistic claims about projected traffic problems the mall would cause.
The teams sued Triple Five and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns the land on which the mall and MetLife Stadium sit, claiming they ignored a 2006 agreement that gave the teams approval power over any modifications to the initial mall design, known as Xanadu.
Doyne denied a motion to dismiss that lawsuit last month.
Xanadu was supposed to open by 2007 but fell victim to the economic downturn. Triple Five, which owns the Mall of America near Minneapolis and the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, took over the project in 2010 and added an amusement park and waterpark and renamed it American Dream.
The legal battle revolves around whether the teams can prove that the new design will have adverse effects on stadium operations, such as game-day traffic.
Doyne echoed that in his opinion, and added that he has “reservations” about the teams’ claims and “even greater reservations” about those made by Triple Five.
“We are not trying to kill the project; that’s not our endgame,” Giants co-owner John Mara said in May, when the teams filed their lawsuit. “What we would like to achieve is a settlement that allows all three of us to thrive. That would have to include some reasonable restrictions on portions of their complex, but not the whole thing, closing, and a parking and traffic management plan that makes sense for both of us.”
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