The former owners of the basketball franchise, Atlanta Hawks, have filed a lawsuit in the superior court of Fulton County, Georgia. Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment LLC., led by majority owner Bruce Levenson, filed the lawsuit against insurance policy provider AIG. It is important to note, that this current lawsuit does not have any relations to the current team ownership of the Atlanta Hawks which is led by Tony Ressler.
Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment LLC. says that AIG has breached its contract that it had with the group. The civil lawsuit also states that the insurance company has insurance bad faith. Former owners of the Atlanta Hawks state that their policies with AIG insured them against losses stemming from employment practices. They believe that the termination of general manager Danny Ferry was within the bounds of the insurance policy. The ownership group argues that Mr. Ferry’s termination falls within wrongful termination and workplace torts. Thus, the Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment LLC. believe that they should be paid accordingly from AIG.
The former owners of the Hawks say they alerted AIG on April 2, 2015 of the incident regarding the termination of Danny Ferry as general manager of the Hawks. Mr. Ferry’s contract was bought out for a sum that had not been disclosed. The Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment LLC. then sold the team ownership to another investment group headed by Don Ressler only a few days after buying out the contract of Danny Ferry.
According to ESPN, documents from the lawsuit say that AIG has never acknowledged that a claim was made by the The Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment LLC. They also say that the insurance company never acknowledged that the policy was triggered when the general manager of the team had his contract terminated.
One of the major figures involved in the lawsuit is Bruce Levenson. He was the biggest stakeholder in the Atlanta Hawks Basketball and Entertainment LLC. and was officially listed as the team’s owner. Under his ownership, the Hawks become a consistent playoff team. Bruce is a businessman who created UCG, a firm that provides information to industries such as energy, banking and telecommunications. He is also a philanthropist that supports charities such as Seeds of Peace and Birth Right Israel. Mr. Levenson also helped launch the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.