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November 21, 2016

Hartford ballpark surety insurer sues former developer

HBJ File Photo The incomplete stadium for the Hartford Yard Goats.

The Arch Insurance Co. has filed a federal lawsuit against the former Hartford ballpark developer to recover what it describes as more than $8.4 million in losses as it pursues completion of the stadium.

Arch last week sued Centerplan Development Co. of Middletown, the former developer of the Dunkin’ Donuts ballpark along with a host of related development companies associated with Centerplan CEO Robert Landino, over liability the surety insurer says it has incurred with respect to the ballpark, and potentially with a phase two of the Storrs Center mixed-use development near UConn.

Centerplan was the original developer of the Hartford minor-league baseball stadium, which didn’t open on time this year, forcing the Yard Goats to play their inaugural 2016 season entirely on the road. Centerplan was eventually fired as the stadium developer by Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin after construction delays and cost overruns.

Arch in mid-October signed an agreement with the city of Hartford to complete the stadium, and said it had hired Baltimore-based Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. to finish the job.

As early as 2010, and at different points later on, Centerplan and Landino in his various capacities at related companies signed “General Indemnity Agreements” that guarantee Arch Insurance would be reimbursed for out-of-pocket costs.

In its Nov. 16 complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court’s Connecticut District, Arch, the surety for the two projects, asserts that it anticipates more than $18 million worth of potential liability for them, and has made payments so far exceeding $8.4 million to resolve some of the claims associated with the bonds issued for the stadium.

Those bond claims have not been resolved, the complaint states, and Arch state it continues to incur losses, fees, costs and expenses, while also facing potential liability.

Arch is seeking monetary damages and injunctions to force the developers to honor collateral security provisions and disclose financial information related to their current assets.

Centerplan attorney Raymond Garcia declined comment.

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