Friday, February 11, 2011

Settlement made in Triumph lawsuit

Parties mum on out-of-court agreement


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

A lawsuit between a former Ketchum mayor and a Triumph-area land speculator was settled out of court late last week, avoiding a jury trial that was scheduled to begin Tuesday in Blaine County 5th District Court.

The lawsuit pitted former Mayor Larry Young, an attorney, against former business associate Carl Massaro, the owner of Triumph Mineral Co. Young alleged in his complaint that he got short-changed when Triumph sold land and mineral rights in the East Fork area in 2008 to Denovo Independence LLC.

Denovo had intended to develop part of the 850 acres in the mountainous area between Elkhorn and East Fork into an upscale subdivision and to dedicate the remainder for recreational purposes. Denovo development plans have thus far been stymied by city of Sun Valley and Blaine County regulations.

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Young alleged in the lawsuit against Triumph that in exchange for legal services for the property acquisition, Massaro had promised to give him 20 percent of the proceeds from the sale. According to Young's complaint, Denovo bought the land for about $6 million and Massaro only paid him $270,000.

Massaro alleged in court documents that Young withdrew his services prior to the sale to Denovo and didn't even earn the $270,000 he was paid.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed in an agreement between the parties filed with the court. According to court records, the case was dismissed "with prejudice," which means the lawsuit cannot be refiled.

Neither party was willing to discuss the settlement.

"All I can tell you is it got settled and there was a consideration exchanged," Massaro's attorney, Edward Lawson, said Wednesday.

"I don't have permission to comment on what the settlement was," Young's attorney, Lee Ritzau, said. "I wish I could tell you, but I can't."

Telephone calls to Young and Massaro were not returned by press deadline Thursday.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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