Scott loses first round of court battle

  • Legal fight: Wayne Scott (File photograph).

    Legal fight: Wayne Scott (File photograph).

The Supreme Court struck down a claim yesterday that the former owner of the Olympic Club breached a merger agreement with The Athletic Club.

Wayne Scott, who represented The Athletic Club in court, argued that Scott Stallard had broken clause 26 of the agreement by selling gym equipment that had belonged to the Olympic Club, among other allegations.

However, Mr Stallard said there were no breaches and Kym Herron Scott of The Athletic Club either acceded or agreed with his actions.

Assistant Justice Jeffrey Elkinson found, in a decision handed down yesterday, that Mr Scott failed to provide evidence to support his argument.

Mr Stallard had showed the court e-mails between himself and Mrs Herron Scott, in which she accepted that he had the right to sell the gym equipment.

Mr Justice Elkinson said: “The defendant had put itself in a position where it was unable to establish the alleged breaches of Mr Stallard simply by relying upon the evidence of Mr Scott.

“Leaving aside that much of the evidence of Mr Scott was replete with hearsay, and in some circumstances, lacking in supporting documentation, which Mr Scott said was available, the defendant did not present any or sufficient evidence that could give rise to clause 26, having the effect that the defendant sought to argue that it did.”

Mr Scott said the judge was mistaken in his ruling and told the court he intended to appeal the decision.

The ruling was a prelude to a larger court case in which Mr Stallard alleges The Athletic Club owes him more than $100,000 as part of the 2014 merger of the two clubs.

Mr Stallard said that, as part of the agreement, Ms Herron Scott promised to pay $3,000 per month for a period of 42 months starting on December 1, 2016, but that no payments had been made.

He also alleges that The Athletic Club owes $22,000 for rent and $17,000 for social insurance payments.

At a hearing last month, Mr Scott argued that Mr Stallard had breached the contract before the first payment could be made, which voided the obligations of The Athletic Club.

He told the court Mr Stallard sold gym equipment belonging to The Athletic Club from the Olympic Club in March 2015.

And he alleged that under the agreement Mr Stallard was supposed to provide The Athletic Club with the originals of all contracts, but he failed to provide copies of an employment contract for one of the Olympic Club’s employees.

An unsigned employment contract was later produced in the lead-up to an Employment Tribunal case.

Mr Justice Elkinson said the employment contract could not have been breached as the employment contract was unsigned.

The judge said Mr Scott’s decision not to call any other witnesses to support his allegations had made it impossible for the court to find there had been breaches.

He told the court: “You never called Ms Herron Scott as a witness, so there was nothing to contradict what Mr Stallard said. That meant the preliminary case could not succeed.”

Mr Justice Elkinson adjourned the case until April 2, but said the case could return to the courts sooner if Mr Scott is not granted leave for his appeal to be heard.

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