GREENSBURG, Pa. (CN) – Seton Hill University is entitled to 100 percent of the profits from the $5.25 million sale of Texas land it received as a gift in 1990 from The Ganassi Foundation, and 10 other charities have no claim to the money, the university claims in Westmoreland County Court.
After the gift had already been made, Seton Hill claims the foundation tried to stipulate that any profits from the sale of the land would be divvied up and distributed to 11 charities, including the Carnegie Institute, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Pittsburgh Foundation.
But Seton Hill claims that Floyd Ganassi himself later specified that the sale money belonged to the university, which managed the land for several years. The plaintiff claims Ganassi told Seton Hill officials that if they wanted to “throw something at the other charities, they could, and if they didn’t want to throw something at them, they didn’t have to, as it was all Seton Hill’s.”
Seton Hill says it had some trouble selling the land, due to “multiple adverse environmental conditions,” including abandoned and uncapped oil wells. In 2007, it finally sold the land for $5.25 million. It has originally been valued at just over $1 million.
When some of the other charities started asking for their purported cut in the proceeds, Seton Hill took them to court, seeking a declaration that they have no right to the money.