CHICAGO (CN) – A defunct baseball league claims in court that its attorney cost it $4 million by drafting a contract that allowed half of its eight teams to join a rival league without paying $1 million apiece to do so.
The Northern League of Professional Baseball Teams sued Gozdecki, Del Guidice, Americus & Farkas, and Steven Leech in Cook County Court.
The Northern League was an independent baseball league, not affiliated with Major League Baseball. It consisted of eight minor league baseball teams in the Midwest and Canada.
It says in its complaint that “Leech and the Gozdecki Firm were retained to draft a governing agreement for the Northern League that imposed a $1 million liquidated damages provision on any Member Team that sought to voluntarily withdraw from the League. This damages provision was critical to ensuring that the Northern League maintained a continuity of Member Teams to continue its operations, expand the League membership, and preserve and grow the value of the League and its teams.
“Unfortunately for the League, when four Member Teams gave notice that they were departing the League following the 2010 season to join a rival minor league association, it became clear that the liquidated damages provision in the agreement drafted by Leech applied only if a Member Team was expelled from the League by member vote. It did not encompass a Member’s voluntary withdrawal – its intended and sole purpose.
“Thus, the League was not compensated upon the mass exodus of fifty percent of the League’s membership. Unable to continue its operations – and without any means of offsetting the resulting financial losses – the Northern League went into a state of hiatus following the mass exodus.”
The League seeks $4 million in compensatory damages and punitive damages, for professional negligence.
It is represented by Joseph Siprut.