Judge refuses to throw out lawsuit against former Delaware Sports Complex partner

WILMINGTON — A judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit against a former Delaware Sports Complex business partner by a company that provided early services for the now-bankrupt project.

Scott Lobdell sought to end action brought against him by Nichols Nursery Inc. of Newark, which claims it is owed $811,337 for work performed after the Middletown area construction began in 2016.

In a four-page order determined Wednesday, New Castle County Superior Court Judge Andrea L. Rocanelli explained that Nichols Nursery presented enough information to at least keep the suit alive for consideration.

“ … The Court finds that there is a reasonably conceivable set of circumstances under which (Nichols Nursery) could establish defendant Scott Lobdell’s liability to (Nichols Nursery.

“Accordingly, the Court declines to dismiss the claims agains defendant Scott Lobdell as a matter of law.”

Also possibly responsible for the alleged debt is Brian Ellis, “who has not appeared in these proceedings,” Judge Rocanelli wrote. The Delaware Sports Complex and current owner Dan Watson are also listed as defendants.

On Friday, Mr. Watson’s counsel was scheduled to present the Delaware Sports Complex bankrupty case in U.S. Federal Court as part of an attempted reorganization plan. The Town of Middletown, which leased land for the project, is seeking to evict the tenant after construction stalled and a previously scheduled opening in Spring 2016 passed.

Superior Court decided to suspend lawsuit proceedings for 90 days “to allow any persons who seek protection of … the United States Bankruptcy Court for relief.”

Mr. Ellis and Mr. Lobdell have since separated from the project, turning over operations to Mr. Watson.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.