Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Entering the Fray: Sanditen, Werner Face Breach-of-Contract Lawsuit

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Entering the Fray: Sanditen, Werner Face Breach-of-Contract Lawsuit

Article excerpt

TULSA - New combatants have expanded the legal battle around Tulsa's Country Club Plaza shopping center.

St. Louis-based TSG Country Club Plaza LLC and its manager, Michael H. Staenberg, filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit Nov. 5 in Tulsa County District Court against Deborah A. Sanditen and Leo H. Werner.

The petition claims the defendants, co-owners of Country Club Plaza LLC, or CCP, misrepresented Werner's legal ability to negotiate a $17.37 million sale agreement for the 200,980-square- foot shopping center. That April deal led Staenberg to create TSG Country Club Plaza. The plaintiffs allegedly spent more than $125,000 studying the 3378 E. 51st St. property through an extended discovery period, with some vendor bills still coming in, before they finally terminated the agreement.

"It was subsequently admitted in writing that Werner had no authority to execute the agreement, bind CCP and to sell the property," wrote attorney Tom Q. Ferguson, who prepared the plaintiff's case with fellow Doerner, Saunders, Daniel and Anderson attorney Kenneth T. Short and a pair of St. Louis lawyers, Jeffrey A. Cohen and Drey A. Cooley of the firm Capes, Sokol, Goodman and Sarachan PC.

This lawsuit before Judge Rebecca B. Nightingale does not identify the source of that writing. But its allegation parallels claims raised by the defendants themselves in other Tulsa County court cases.

Sanditen, the last surviving child of Otasco heir Ira E. Sanditen, and Werner have challenged each other in separate Tulsa County cases over management not just of Country Club Plaza LLC, but also the Ira E. Sanditen Family Trust and the IESD Family LLC. All three of those entities were born in a 2008 out-of-court settlement Deborah Sanditen had with her brother, Steven Sanditen, over management of those family assets.

Deborah Sanditen credited the help of Werner, who is married to her cousin, for completing that agreement. Deborah Sanditen established him in leadership positions for the trust, which expanded to ownership positions in the other two entities over the years. She also allegedly presented gifts of more than $2. …

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