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Published: Saturday, 6/25/2005

Storm negotiating transportation dispute

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Toledo Storm officials hope to negotiate a settlement in a dispute over transportation services that led to a civil lawsuit being filed against the organization on Tuesday.

Rough Rider Leasing, L.L.C. filed the complaint in Lucas County Common Pleas Court demanding $19,300 for services it provided to the hockey club in 2003 and 2004. The charter bus company supplied transportation for several of the team's road trips, but it claims it was never reimbursed.

Mike Miller, the Storm's vice president and general manager, said he expects the dispute to be settled out of court. Miller said the parties disagree on the amount that should be paid.

"We're talking to Rough Rider and we expect the thing to be cleared up early next week," Miller said. "We have started negotiations."

James Nowak, an attorney for Rough Rider Leasing, declined to comment on the specifics of the case due to attorney-client privilege.

But he did say it is always preferable to settle such cases out of court.

"You always attempt to resolve these matters between the two parties," Nowak said.

Officials at Rough Rider Leasing, which is based in Little Rock, Ark., did not return calls for comment.

The first claim cited in the affidavit was transportation that the company provided to the Storm for a trip to Peoria, Ill., on Oct. 18, 2003, for the amount of $2,200. The largest bill was $7,680 for a 12-day trip to Peoria, Columbia, S.C., Roanoke, Va.. Florence, S.C., and Greenville, S.C., from Jan. 2-13 in 2004.

Miller, who was in Las Vegas attending league meetings, said the leasing company is under new management and he believes the matter will be settled quickly.



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