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April 17/06 10:48 am - Hamilton Worlds Founders Threaten Lawsuit

Posted by Editor on 04/17/06

Hamilton Worlds Founders Threaten Lawsuit

Giuseppe Ferrara and Giancarlo Serrafero, through their company GCG Management Inc., have filed a statement of claim which says that they are owed consulting fees and out-of-pocket expenses for bringing the Road World Championships to Hamilton in 2003.

Ferrara and Serrafero claim that they spent $400,000 of their own funds to bring the event to Hamilton, and were promised commissions for sponsorship monies which they attracted. The statement of claim (which is not a lawsuit at this point) says that these funds have not been paid in their entirety, and GCG has threatened a $1 million lawsuit, asking for damages for breach of trust or (alternatively) for breach of contract. In addition, they have asked for $1 million in damages for "unjust enrichment".

Named in the statement of claim are the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA), the National Cycling Centre Hamilton, the Hamilton Road Cycling Championships (the corporation which was formed to put on the event), the CCA-Hamilton Road Cycling Foundation and Brian Jolly (President of the CCA and a member of the Road Worlds Board at the time).

Neither the National Cycling Centre Hamilton nor the CCA-Hamilton Road Cycling Foundation existed at the time the events took place in the statement of claim, however, these two entities received the legacy funds left over from the Worlds (approximately $642,000 each).

GCG received the initial contract from the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) to put on the Worlds in Hamilton, however, the UCI subsequently demanded that the event be turned over to the CCA. GCG claims as part of the agreement to turn over the Worlds that expenses and consulting fees would be paid to GCG. At this point that actual outstanding fees payable to GCG is unknown, since some fees were paid.

Lawyers for both sides are discussing the situation,to determine if an equitable agreement can be reached without resorting to the courts.

Steve Merker, president of the National Cycling Centre in Hamilton at McMaster University, said lawyers for both sides have been trying to resolve the dispute without incurring the costs of going to court.

"If these guys are legally entitled to the money, so be it," Merker said in an e-mail this morning. "There's a lot of information that isn't included in that statement of claim and the facts have to be determined. It would be a shame if money was wasted fighting a lawsuit that could otherwise go to youth cycling programs."


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