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Miami Marlins Court Case Begins Thursday

Miami Marlins

A Thursday hearing marks the start of a lawsuit filed by Miami-Dade County, which is disputing former owner Jeffrey Loria‘s claim that he took a loss on his sale of Miami Marlins.

Under the terms of a profit-sharing agreement reached in 2009, Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami were to each receive a five-percent share of the profits from a sale of the Marlins in exchange for committing public funds for the construction of Marlins Park. However, following his sale of the team to an ownership group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, Loria claimed a $140 million paper loss on the deal, prompting the county to file a lawsuit last week.

In addition to Loria, the current Marlins ownership group is named as a co-defendant in the suit. More from The Miami Herald:

Citing deductions allowed in the original deal, Loria’s lawyers and accountants claimed a $140 million paper loss on the deal. County lawyers called that bogus in a lawsuit filed last week against the Loria entity that used to own the team and the new entity Jeter and partners formed to buy the Marlins in October.

Judge Beatrice Butchko, with the complex litigation division of Miami-Dade Circuit Court, has the case and scheduled a 10 a.m. hearing for Thursday. Miami-Dade wants an injunction to have more time to respond to Loria’s financial claims and to prevent the Jeter group from draining the $50 million set aside from sales proceeds to cover any disputed expenses, including county and city claims.

The Marlins say the team has no exposure in the dispute, saying the sales agreement assigned any exposure on profit-sharing to Loria. But the county suit names the new ownership as co-defendants, saying the team is responsible for satisfying the requirements of the 2009 agreement.

Loria owned the Marlins from 2002 through last fall, when his $1.2 billion sale of the team to the ownership group led by Jeter and Sherman was completed. Marlins Park opened in 2012.

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