Warm Springs suits assigned to new
Judge May will not consider complaints
about $12 million deal
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
Two June lawsuits filed by two separate
development groups vying for uncontested ownership of the Warm Springs Ranch
property in Ketchum have been assigned to a new judge.
The two lawsuits—filed in mid-June in 5th
District Court in Hailey—could decide the future ownership of the approximately
76-acre golf course and restaurant property.
A June 11 civil suit filed by Sun Valley
Ventures against George W. Tischer and his company, Warm Springs Ranch and
Restaurant, as well as a June 12 suit filed by Tischer‘s company against Sun
Valley Ventures, have both been assigned to Judge Dan Meehl. Meehl is a retired
5th District Court judge who is eligible to preside over specific cases.
Essentially, both lawsuits—which came
after each of the two parties filed other suits against each other earlier in
the year—argue that the defending party violated the terms of a 2002 contract to
buy the Warm Springs property for $12 million.
The suit filed by Sun Valley
Ventures—which earlier this year purchased and assumed title to the Warm Springs
property—alleges that Tischer committed "fraud" and "materially breached"
elements of the 2002 contract to purchase the property from the previous owners.
The suit in part demands a declaration that the contract, originally issued to
Tischer in July 2002, be declared "void."
The civil suit brought by attorneys for
Warm Springs Ranch and Restaurant, on behalf of Tischer and his business partner
Steve Roth, alleges that Sun Valley Ventures and its principal, Erwin D. Mieger,
"breached their obligation" to the same contract. The Tischer group’s suit
demands an injunction to prevent any changes being made to the property, as well
as a jury trial to resolve certain elements of the controversy.
Steve Hardesty, attorney for Warm Springs
Ranch and Restaurant, said Tuesday that attorneys for Sun Valley Ventures
objected to Judge James May presiding over the case against Sun Valley Ventures.
A clerk for the 5th District Court said
Tuesday that both of the cases had been assigned to Meehl.
The attorney and the local representative
for Sun Valley Ventures could not be reached for comment.