NEW: Tornadoes’ Office Cleaned Out; More Lawsuits on the Way?
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
"We have, what I call, the baseball ambulance chaser running through town," Breighner said of lawyer Margaret M. Melican, who is leading a suit for, among others, The Hitlon Garden Inn on Major Taylor Blvd. against the club. "I don't know what business in the City of Worcester doesn't have vendors and that (doesn't) have debt."
The movers, hired by Melican, moved items out the Tornadoes' corporate offices, though Breighner claims they did not have a court order and says he will look into possible legal action.
Things could get worse for Breighner as one Massachusetts business representative intimated that a number of companies could join the suit against Worcester's minor league baseball franchise.
"We will absolutely join in the suit depending on how this proceeds," David Sears of Print Resource in Maynard said. "I want to be paid and I want to be made whole."
Print Resource, which Sears says produced posters and pocket schedules for the Tornadoes this year, is owed an alleged $7,000 by the Tornadoes. The company had never worked with the Tornadoes before, and have only been in business with the club since April.
Sears says he was unaware that other companies, and even players, were not being paid by the club, until he read about it in the media.
"We're a little late to this, obviously," Sears said. "This is a good brand, they've been here for a while, they're good for the city. You would assume that they're good for it, but we're finding out that's not the case."
Among those players alleging that the Tornadoes never paid their salaries is controversial slugger Jose Canseco. The 1988 American League MVP left the Tornadoes and filed suit against the club claiming he never received his base salary of over $80,000.
"He was paid a small amount initially, but nothing after that," Canseco's attorney Michelle Hubbard said. "Now we have a large claim in the amount of close to $80,000."
While Canseco's lawsuit may be the most high-profile against Breighner, the Tornadoes' owner is more concerned about Melican and her clients.
"The Canseco deal will get straight," Breighner said. "That's the least of my concerns."
As for next year, Breighner says the team will be back for its fourth season.
"The only thing I can absolutely, positively tell you is the Worcester Tornadoes will be here in 2013," Breighner said. When asked if he would be back with the club next season, the embattled owner responded, "I don't know yet."
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