York International Agrees to Settlement
The law firm of Miraldi & Barrett served as co-counsel for the City of Elyria in its lawsuit against York International for damages that Elyria and the Elyria City Schools suffered when York closed its Elyria facility in August of 2001. York had entered into a ten year tax abatement agreement with Elyria in 1993 in which York received tax reductions on capital improvements and equipment used in a plant expansion for a term of ten years. The City of Elyria claimed that York was obligated under the agreement to operate the Elyria plant for at least the agreement's ten year term. Just before trial was to commence, York agreed to pay $925,000 to the City of Elyria and the Elyria City Schools to resolve the case.
David Miraldi along with Elyria's law director, Terry Shilling, represented the City of Elyria in the litigation. As far as they know, this is the first time any company has agreed to pay damages rising out of a plant closure under these circumstances. York argued that the tax abatement agreement did not obligate it to remain in Elyria for the agreement's ten year term, but only gave York the opportunity to receive abatements if it was still in operation.
According to Miraldi, this lawsuit directly challenged York's claim that it could leave Elyria without incurring any penalty. When York agreed to pay the $925,000, we were able to recover some of the tax dollars that the people of Elyria had lost because of York's actions, Miraldi said. We hope that other companies will take notice of what happened here and think twice before closing their plants after receiving sizeable tax breaks.