Laettner attorney in court to collect West Village-related debt

May. 29, 2014 @ 10:35 PM

An attorney for Christian Laettner was in court in Durham on Thursday to try to win a court order to help collect money the former Duke University basketball star lent to the West Village redevelopment.

Laettner loaned money to the Durham company BDV III to help with the cost of the West Village Expansion, according to documents filed in Durham County Superior Court. He originally filed the complaint against the company last July.

According to the court documents, the West Village Expansion was the second phase of the redevelopment of the former downtown Liggett Group tobacco buildings into the mixed-use development known as West Village.

Laettner eventually won a judgment against BDV III. And according to Dieter Mauch, an attorney representing him Thursday, Laettner is entitled to more than $10.3 million from the company.

On Thursday, Superior Court Judge Howard E. Manning Jr. granted a motion beneficial to Laettner. It allowed money BDV III has the right to collect from two other companies to be assigned to Laettner and to another West Village investor, Julie Britton.

According to court filings, Britton also won a court judgment for the right to collect money owed by BDV III. Manning Thursday allowed Britton’s and Laettner’s cases against BDV III to be consolidated.

Christopher Carrington, an attorney representing Britton, said at the hearing that BDV III is in the process of collecting, or has the right to collect, two promissory notes, one for more than $11.8 million and the other for more than $6.6 million.

Carrington said they wanted an order issued that could be given to the sheriff to allow for the delivery of the notes for Laettner and Britton’s benefit.

“Are there  notes worth (the) paper they’re written on?” Manning said, before he allowed the order to be issued. “If you can find blood in a turnip,” he said. “The question I had, is there anything in the turnip other than turnip juice?”

Carrington said they didn’t have that answer.

After the hearing, Mauch said in an interview that Laettner, the former Duke star and retired a professional basketball player with the NBA, ended up being a large contributor to BDV III as he had liquid funds available. Mauch said they were going through the courts to have “his contribution, and this value, recognized.”

“We’ll see where it goes,” he said. “The bottom line is that we have an assignment through the court today of certain money owed to the company that we’d ask for the court to assign to us.”