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Rock Hill asks judge to dismiss allegations in York County lawsuit over Panthers team HQ

Rock Hill leaders filed to have the city removed as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by York County over the Panthers' failed headquarters and practice facility.

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The city of Rock Hill is asking a judge to dismiss it as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by York County earlier this summer over the Panthers' failed training camp and headquarters. 

In the lawsuit, York County says it lost millions of dollars when the project collapsed after Rock Hill failed to issue bonds for the construction. The county is seeking damages from David Tepper's companies and the city of Rock Hill, blaming them for the project's demise. 

Rock Hill failed to issue $225 million in bonds to pay for public infrastructure, like roads and sidewalks, related to the Panthers' headquarters construction. The lawsuit states, "Rock Hill failed to issue required bonds, the development project collapsed, and the City and the Tepper Defendants were left blaming each other."

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Now, Rock Hill leaders are asking a judge to dismiss the allegations, saying the city was never required to issue bonds, adding that agreements in the project "impose no affirmative obligations on the city." Additionally, the motion says the county should refile the lawsuit with GT Real Estate, Tepper's firm, as a defendant. The current lawsuit doesn't include GT Real Estate, which filed for bankruptcy after terminating the project

Instead, the lawsuit seeks damages from Tepper's other companies, including Appaloosa Management, DT Sports Holding, Inc., and Tepper Sports Holding, LLC, collectively known as the Tepper Defendants. 

WCNC Charlotte has reached out to the city of Rock Hill, York County and GT Real Estate for comment. All three parties said they have no comment. 

There is a hearing scheduled for Thursday to determine if GT Real Estate's bankruptcy case will be moved from Delaware, where it was filed, to South Carolina. Delaware is known for its business-friendly laws and creditors believe South Carolina is a more appropriate venue. 

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Contact Indira Eskieva at ieskieva@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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