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US court throws out claim against Ecclestone

ESPN Staff
January 23, 2014 « Bahrain switched to night race | Vandoorne to combine GP2 with McLaren reserve role »

It has not been a good start to the year for Bernie Ecclestone but he got some relief yesterday after a court in New York dismissed a $650 million damages claim over the sale of Formula One.

Bluewaters, an investment company, had brought the claim against Ecclestone but the case was rejected because it was "devoid of any New York connections".

Justice Eileen Bransten said that Bluewaters had created "a New York entity merely days before this action was commenced" and that the claim was "a blatant attempt at forum shopping and the court considers Bluewaters to be a Jersey entity operating out of London or the Channel Islands, with no presence in New York except for its legal counsel.

"'This action is not about a lost business venture in New York, but rather on allegations that an English citizen bribed a German citizen to compel a German bank to sell its interest in a Jersey company to an English company rather than another Jersey company.

'What it [Bluewaters] ignores is that this case involves a foreign plaintiff [Ecclestone], and that all eight defendants are foreign; the critical events happened in Europe; the bulk of the discovery will happen abroad; the dispute is covered by either English or German law, and that at least three more convenient forums are available - England, Germany and Jersey.'

Costs were awarded against Bluewaters.

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