Suen's Case Against LVS Will Go to Trial
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
A Nevada state court judge has denied a bid by Las Vegas Sands to throw out Richard Suen’s claim that the casino giant owes him millions for helping it obtain its Macau license more than a decade ago.
The Tuesday ruling by Judge Rob Bare clears the way for jury selection to begin next week in a re-trial of a case which Mr Suen, a Hong Kong-based businessman, won in 2008, only to have his US$43.8 million breach-of-contract award overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court.
Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson, who is expected to testify at the trial, was in attendance for Judge Bare’s ruling.
Mr Suen claims LVS did not pay him as promised for arranging meetings with Chinese government officials that helped smooth the company’s entry to the lucrative casino enclave, which had been opened to foreign competition after the territory was returned to China in 1999. LVS contends Mr Suen did nothing to earn the money and that it won the license on its own.
In overruling the 2008 verdict, the Nevada Supreme Court cited errors by trial judge Michelle Leavitt in admitting testimony by former LVS President Bill Weidner. At the trial Mr Weidner said in a deposition that he agreed in 2001 to pay Mr Suen a $5 million fee plus 2% of the company’s Macau casino revenues if his work led to securing the concession.
It’s not the first time the company has faced similar claims. In June 2009, a settlement was reached for $42.5 million with three business associates who claimed they had assisted the company in receiving the concession.