Cordish Co., a real-estate developer building a casino near Baltimore, can pursue a defamation lawsuit against the CEO of its bankrupt former business partner, Indianapolis Downs LLC, a judge said Aug. 26.
Indianapolis Downs owns and operates Indiana Downs race track and Indiana Live! casino near Shelbyville.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Linehan Shannon, in Wilmington, Del., ruled CEO Ross J. Mangano can’t delay a lawsuit against him in Maryland in order to concentrate on reorganizing Indianapolis Downs. The lawsuit, which had temporarily been on hold, can proceed 30 days from now, Shannon said.
“Involving him in this litigation is not going to affect the debtor’s ability” to reorganize, Cordish attorney Kenneth Oestreicher said in court today.
After Indianapolis Downs, based in Shelbyville, filed for bankruptcy in April, Shannon temporarily halted the Cordish litigation against Mangano. That protection is no longer necessary, Shannon said today.
Cordish sued in February, claiming it was defamed by competing casino companies and their executives, including Mangano and horse-track owner Frank Stronach.
Mangano and Stronach allegedly were “part of an ongoing campaign designed to smear, defame and otherwise falsely portray the Cordish Entities for the purpose of harming them economically and influencing both the Maryland State legislature and lottery commission.”