U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in Chicago recently issued a judgment of .3 million against each of the six former officials involved with Emerald Casino Inc. in Rosemont, Illinois for contributing to the property’s loss of a gambling license. In a 281-page opinion, Pallmeyer said the defendants broke a promise to Emerald Casino by failing to comply with state gambling regulations, leading the Illinois Gaming Commission to revoke Emerald Casino’s license in 2001. The company declared bankruptcy in 2002.
Pallmeyer added the defendants were not jointly liable, so the bankruptcy trustee, Frances Gecker, may not collect more than $45.3 million from each individually. Gecker said the timing of collecting on the judgment depends on several factors, including whether defendants appeal. “We’re a ways from there. We can’t move forward until an order’s entered. We just have an opinion now,” she said. John Gallo, an attorney for the defendants, said in light of the “very thorough, very detailed opinion we have not reached any conclusions yet.”
The defendants are Joseph McQuaid, Walter Hanley, Kevin Larson, John McMahon and the estates of the late Donald Flynn and the late Kevin Flynn.
Chicago attorney Matthew Piers, one of the lawyers representing Gecker, said he has not taken discovery of assets. However, given that the case has dragged on almost a decade, he said, “It would be logical to assume that there’s something worth fighting about.”
Pallmeyer noted a statute limitations prevented her from adding punitive damages to the judgment.