Panther sues over deal gone bad

May 6, 2009
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barnesIndy Racing League team Panther Racing has filed a lawsuit against locally based video and Web production company Pathway Production Co., which is now owned by Mays Chemical Co. President William Mays. The lawsuit seeks $1.58 million.

Panther co-owner John Barnes claims Pathway failed to develop Web-based interactive audio and video curriculum for the fledgling Panther Education Center, a program to introduce junior high and high school students to motorsports careers and show them practical applications of academic topics, such as science and math.

Barnes said he negotiated the deal with former Pathway owner Michael Husain in early 2006, but never received any goods or services. Barnes is seeking the return of his original payment, plus all the materials he turned over to Pathway.

Barnes also is seeking compensation for a Panther Education Center franchise he had sold but was unable to deliver because Pathway never produced the materials Barnes requested.

“Pathway is defunct, there are no assets there,” Mays said. “So Panther can go ahead and sue Pathway, but I’m not sure what good it’s going to do.”

Mays, who bought a majority share of Pathway in 2007, said he had nothing to do with the Panther deal, and laid the blame on Husain.

“Panther is the tip of the iceberg,” Mays said. “Michael took money for a lot of projects and never did the work. I’ve been above-board about everything. I’ve tried to do the right thing. I’m not running from anything.”

Husain, who recently left to start another firm, said he too has been above board. Husain said key staffers on the project resigned while he still owned the company, setting the project back. He said Mays and his staffers were notified of the project's status before the sale of the company.

Barnes said he met with Husain and his staff frequently over a period of more than two years and later talked with representatives of Mays’ staff at Pathway, but never Mays himself. Barnes said his lawyers at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP tried to arrange a meeting with Mays, but they were rebuffed.

“In our business, we understand all about cash flow issues,” Barnes said. “But at this point, we have given Pathway all of our materials and our money, and we have nothing. We’d still like to launch this program, but at this point it’d be very difficult. Now, [Pathway officials] won’t even meet with us.”
  • Dumb idea for the team to get involved in that. They should have focused on one thing and one thing only: Racing.

    I get a kick in the can when these Indy teams try to be altruistic. Notice none of them really contend for wins.

    But they set out to educate, conquer illness, and advance various social causes...all the while looking good at it...................Mid to back of pack.
  • Ahhh, haha ha ha ha! Nice!

    And typical of an earlista to get involved in a shady deal. :lol: I really wonder who was daft enough to actually buy one of these 'franchises from Barnes.

    What were they gonna teach the kids? That effin Tony George invented motor racing in 1996 after Danicle wonned the Indy 500 for 80 years? And saved it from them evil CART scumbags like Penske, Andretti, Ganassi etc? Just grate. Good thing it didn't happen.
  • DAng I hope BArns gets his cash so he dont got to do that KEy LIguidators thing again. MAn oh man, I thot he was done when that happend. HOw do you go out a business but still be in business? Must be the power of the IRl.
  • Wrong Stan!! Panther does in fact contend for wins.....who do you think Sam Hornish Jr. won most of his races for, not to mention a 2nd place in the INDY 500 last year.
  • Wrong Count Tracula!! Panther does in fact contend for wins.....who do you think Sam Hornish Jr. won most of his races for, not to mention a 2nd place in the INDY 500 last year.
  • Sorry Stan .....didn't let me edit
  • Wow, now the IRL/TG Haters are attacking the IRL Teams for doing good works. Wow, I guess you sit outside of Goodwill and make fun of people making donations as well? Panther should be applauded for doing good works. But why would the TG/IRL haters give any credit, that does not fit into their hate filled world.
  • Actually, such an endeavor sounds like a great idea to me, and I'm sorry it didn't happen. More people should be so community minded. Bill Mays should make this happen if he does in fact relaunch another video/Web production firm.
  • For what it's worth, some of the freelance crew members (including me) that worked on some of the videos for this project never got paid entirely for their work, either.
  • Bill Mays and Jerald Harkness have put together a tidy scam to get out of doing the work. They closed Pathway, and yet Harkness bought all assets of Pathway Productions at the liquidation auction. Wonder if they'll pay their freelancers/staff and finish the projects with this new company.

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