The Related Companies won $2 million in damages in a dispute with its former business partner and glass curtain wall supplier.
A federal judge in Manhattan sided with Related on certain points in the developer’s lawsuit against former business partner Carleton Ruthling, finding he improperly used funds from their joint venture, Tesla Walls. The court ruled that Ruthling used Tesla funds to pay his wife a salary for a no-show job and to cover the couple’s personal expenses in Hong Kong, Crain’s reported.
Tesla was supposed to import and install glass curtain walls for several Related projects. But shortly after the company started working on projects in Chicago and California, Related and Tesla began squabbling over cash.
Ruthling accused the developer of withholding funds from the newly formed company. He ultimately sued Related for breach of contract when the developer created a new glass manufacturing business in Pennsylvania. Related filed its own lawsuit, and the federal judge ruled in the developer’s favor on some points. Other claims in the case are headed to trial in the fall. [Crain’s] — Kathryn Brenzel