Rhode Island's lawsuit against Curt Schilling and other architects of a controversial $75 million loan that brought the former Major League Baseball pitcher and his studio to the state in 2010, could end in a settlement, according to government documents filed this week in Rhode Island. The Providence Journal reports that legislation was introduced in the Rhode Island general assembly this week at the request of Governor Lincoln Chafee that encourages a settlement, though terms of said settlement are not available.
The proposal [PDF link] lays out the parameters of a "good faith settlement," that is, one that "does not exhibit collusion, fraud, dishonesty, or other wrongful or tortious conduct intended to prejudice the non-settling tortfeasor(s), irrespective of the settling or non-settling tortfeasor's proportionate share of liability."
Similar settlement proposals have been used in other high-profile Rhode Island cases, including measures to settle ligation surrounding the state's 1990s banking crisis and the Station Nightclub fire in 2003.
"The bill is specific only to the 38 Studios lawsuit and is done to encourage a settlement," House Judiciary Chairwoman Edith Ajello, D-Providence, said in a statement to The Providence Journal. "The bill makes it clear that the credit to the non-settling defendants is limited to the amount of money paid by the settling defendants. It eliminates the uncertainty of determining what the percentage of fault is among all the defendants, which may not be determined for many years in the event of a jury trial."
Rhode Island initially sued Curt Schilling and other architects of the $75 million loan after 38 Studios went bankrupt in 2012 as a means to recoup the many millions of dollars state taxpayers are now on the hook for. The complaint includes 17 counts of alleged wrongdoing, including claims of fraud, unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty.
Rhode Island's lawyers held a liquidation auction last month as a secondary means to recoup its debt, but it gathered a lackluster response. Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends together sold for $320,000, but the Amalur MMO Copernicus and sequel rights for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning failed to sell. Because Copernicus failed to sell auction, it now represents nothing more than "a lot of junk," according to Chafee.