It’s A Wynn-Lose Situation For Boston In Their Fight Against The Gaming Commission

Court rules that their lawsuit can continue but ties their hands until September.

Attorney Thomas C. Frongillo of Fish & Richardson. Photo by Garrett Quinn

Attorney Thomas C. Frongillo of Fish & Richardson. Photo by Garrett Quinn

Boston’s full blown assault on the Wynn Resorts casino in Everett got a slight boost on Thursday when a Suffolk Superior Court judge denied an attempt to throw out the city’s lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The city’s win was tempered though when Judge Janet L. Sanders ruled that city cannot move their lawsuit forward in the legal process by issuing subpoenas for evidence and testimony from possible witnesses.

Sanders stayed all current lawsuits against the commission, including Boston’s, from entering into what’s known as the discover phase.

The city’s amended lawsuit against the commission seeks to not only torpedo the construction of the $1.7 billion Wynn casino but to block the commission from having anything to do with the lone eastern Massachusetts casino license going forward.

Attorneys representing the commission, led by David Mackey, argued that the lawsuit was far too long and burdensome to go forward in the legal process. Mackey suggested if the court accept the lawsuit they would need to actual increase the size of filing cabinets and book shelves to hold all the paperwork.

Attorney Tom Frangillo blasted Mackey’s arguments in the court and suggested that the court has accepted numerous lengthy lawsuits. Frangillo said the commission is only seeking to dismiss the suit now because they are unhappy with the amendments made to the original suit filed in the winter.

“I would say a ninth grader in high school would be able to understand what the complaints are. You don’t need them spelled out,” said Frangillo.

Sanders ultimately ruled against the motion, suggesting that if she dismissed this lawsuit it would end up back in court in a different form and that there was no reason to think otherwise.

“They can still file an amended complaint whether or not the first complaint is still there, this case is not going to go away,” said Sanders.

Attorney Kenney Leonetti arguing for Revere urged the judge to move forward with the lawsuits and begin the process of discovery. Leonetti cited the ability of the developers to start digging and building and create a “train has left the station” situation for the plaintiffs.

“One of these days a backhoe is going to dig in the ground and one of these days someone is going to pour concrete. The commonwealth and certainly the commission has an interest in making this happen,” said Leonetti.

Sanders wasn’t having it and set the hearing on the lawsuits for September 22, 2015 when additional measures to dismiss and permit discovery are likely. Materials and documents still need to be handed over by the commission to the plaintiffs per the judge’s decision. The documents in question will be altered for confidentially purposes.

“We’re pleased that we’re going to have the opportunity to present to the court in very short order to dismiss all three of the complaints,” said Mackey while speaking with reporters after the hearing.

A representative for Wynn resorts declined to comment on the lawsuit saying it was a matter for the commission to handle.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he, too, was pleased with the judge’s ruling moving the lawsuit forward.

“It continues to be my priority that the Gaming Commission recognize Boston’s status as a host community to the planned casino and that the people of Charlestown are finally granted the opportunity to have their voices heard on this critically important issue,” said Walsh in a statement.