Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Acts of God? No ...just "The Donald"
Donald Trump's lawyers have taken the position that they don't have to repay Deutche Bank $330 million of the $640 million he borrowed for a high-rise hotel condominium project in Chicago. Trumps lawyers are claiming the economic recession is a "Force Majeure" as defined in Trump's loan agreements with the Bank, releasing him from the obligations due to acts of God out of his control. This French phrase for "greater force," (Trump?) clearly doesn't mean "I don't have the cash so I'll turn around and just sue you to avoid paying right now." But that's what Trumps lawyers did. Trump refused to repay the loan and then sued Deutsche Bank for tortious interference, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty. Deutche Bank countered with a request for sanctions against Trump for $40 Million for what appears to be a frivolous lawsuit. The judge is obviously aware of Trump's attorneys behaving badly since he scheduled the hearing on the motion for summary judgement on the sanctions on New Year's Eve. Judges can be a hoot.