Texas-Sized Fight Over Parking

     DALLAS (CN) – H. Ross Perot Jr. and entities he controls are unjustly competing for millions of dollar in parking, sponsorship and advertising revenue with the American Airlines Center, according to a complaint from Center Operating Co., which is partially controlled by Dallas Mavericks majority owner Mark Cuban. Perot Jr. is the only son of H. Ross Perot.
     The lawsuit pitting billionaire against billionaire is the latest salvo in a legal battle between the two men, who began as partners in the development of the arena in 1997.
     Perot’s Hillwood Development Company, which owns 5 percent of the Mavericks, sued Cuban last year, claiming that the basketball franchise was insolvent and that Cuban had made several questionable business and personnel decisions that caused investors in the team to lose a substantial amount of their money.
     Center Operating runs operations at the American Airlines Center. In its complaint in Dallas County Court, it accuses Perot and Hillwood of trying to make up losses from a now-abandoned development project near the arena by having a parking garage on their site compete for event parking with the American Airlines Center.
     Perot and Hillwood also compete with Center Operating Co. and the American Airlines Center for sponsorship and advertising revenue, the complaint states. Center Operating says the competition is illegal because of a previous non-compete agreement.
     “Perot and Hillwood promised to take certain actions to support and benefit the ACC and the plaintiffs,” the complaint states. It adds: “Over the course of the past few years – primarily after sustaining substantial losses in the Victory development – Perot and the other defendants reneged on those promises and took steps to utilize resources the plaintiff and the City of Dallas intended to benefit the ACC for their own commercial gain.”
     That competition was directed by Perot, who also is the director of Center Operating Co.’s general partner, Center GP, the complaint states.
     “Not only did this conduct violate Perot’s fiduciary duty to COC’s limited partners, but the conduct also breached his and his company’s contractual promise to put the interests of the Arena above their own – a promise certain plaintiffs paid millions of dollars to procure,” the complaint states.
     Center Operating seeks compensatory and exemplary damages for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent inducement, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment and conspiracy.
     It is represented by Thomas M. Melsheimer, with Fish & Richardson, of Dallas.

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