Mall owner to pay Caruso
The owner of the Glendale Galleria shopping mall has agreed to pay a $48-million legal settlement to developer Rick Caruso, owner of the competing Americana at Brand shopping complex.
The settlement ends an appeal by Galleria owner General Growth Properties of a 2007 court decision ordering the company to pay Caruso’s firm $89 million for trying to prevent a restaurant chain from locating in the Americana.
The jury found that the Galleria’s Chicago-based owner engaged in “fraud, malice and oppression” by trying to stop the addition of a Cheesecake Factory restaurant to the Americana mall.
General Growth had allegedly threatened the restaurant chain’s leases in its other malls throughout the U.S.
Adam Metz, interim chief executive of General Growth, said in a statement that the “settlement allows us to put this matter behind us and focus on the company’s ongoing operations and strategic evaluations.”
Caruso, a former Los Angeles Police Commission president, said in a statement: “I am very pleased with this settlement and having this matter resolved in our favor. The jury verdict sent a clear message that proper business ethics will always prevail.”