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Builders Sue Texas Rangers

(CN) - The Texas Rangers baseball team stiffed a design firm and construction company for nearly $7 million of work they did on the defunct "Glory Park" development next to the team's ballpark, the companies claim in Dallas County Court. The companies claim that Rangers owner Thomas Hicks knew all along that the "myriad of entities he owns and/or controls" didn't have the funding to finish the project but hired them to do the work anyway.

Ohio-based RTKL Associates and Vratsinas Construction Co., of Arkansas, sued Hicks Holdings and Hicks' co-developer Steinert Associates.

The defendants include 10 Hicks affiliates, including Texas Rangers Baseball Partners.

RTKL and Vratsinas say Hicks refused to pay them for work they did designing and constructing the planned "urban town center" on 75 acres near the ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

The plaintiffs say Hicks and Steinert owe them on contracts going back to 2005, including more than $4 million for pre-case concrete forms that were supposed to be used to build a parking garage. At first the garage project was to be paid for partly with public money raised from bonds issued by the City of Arlington, but Hicks and Steinert failed to meet the city's stipulations and the bonds were never issued, the lawsuit states.

The companies say they also are owed for work they did designing a "stadium entertainment zone" called "Rangers Alley" in the ballpark and various other projects, some completed and some shelved.

Hicks and Steinert quit the Glory Park project in 2008 when tenants were slow in signing on, and since then, the plaintiffs say, they have not been paid. They seek damages for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraudulent nondisclosure, negligent representation, fraudulent transfer and other charges.

They also accuse Hicks of transferring title to the property to one of his subsidiaries to "delay or to defraud" creditors. They say that in 2008 Hicks granted one of his affiliates a $12.5 million lien on the Glory Park property and then transferred title and the lien to another entity.

They seek punitive damages.

The companies are represented by Jeffrey Ford with Ford Nassen of Dallas.

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