Sides hone arguments in Vikings stadium case

Published 9:45 am Friday, January 17, 2014

ST. PAUL — The government authority in charge of constructing the new Minnesota Vikings stadium claimed in a legal brief filed Thursday that the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit is trying to disrupt it with “endless litigation,” and asked the state Supreme Court to shut him down.

Parties in the lawsuit over the stadium project are submitting a last flurry of briefs to Minnesota’s high court as stadium backers are ask for quick action in order to avoid obstacles that could derail an already tight construction schedule and drive up the nearly $1 billion price tag. The lawsuit has already caused a delay in a $468 million bond sale.

Plaintiff Doug Mann “appears to be a serial litigant, determined to keep asserting meritless claims until this Court, the final arbiter of Minnesota law, definitely disposes of those claims,” stated a legal memorandum from the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. “Allowing Petitioners to continue to disrupt, delay and thread the Stadium Project … by endless litigation does not further justice.”

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Mann, a frequent but unsuccessful candidate for office in Minneapolis, and two other plaintiffs sued late last week to block the bond sale, claiming the stadium’s funding plan is unconstitutional. The same plaintiffs were previously unsuccessful with a Hennepin County lawsuit on similar grounds, a suit they’re asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to revive.

Mann and his fellow plaintiffs argue the stadium financing arrangements were designed to circumvent a Minneapolis charter provision that would have triggered a city referendum. The stadium funding plan splits construction costs between the Vikings, state and city taxpayers.