Tropicana sued again over Mob Experience work

A fourth contractor is suing the Tropicana resort in Las Vegas, claiming it hasn’t been paid for work on the Las Vegas Mob Experience tourist attraction there.

Northwestern Inc. filed suit last week in Clark County District Court against the Tropicana, Mob Experience contractor M.J. Dean Construction Inc. and bonding company Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.

The Mob Experience and its parent company, Murder Inc., were not sued by Northwestern. Murder Inc. is expected to file for bankruptcy protection soon as it faces its own lawsuits, infighting among investors and back rent to the Tropicana.

Northwestern, in its suit, said it contracted with M.J. Dean to provide custom millwork for The Mob Experience and that it “fully performed its work in performance of that contract with no complaints by M.J. Dean.”

Yet, Northwestern said, it hasn’t been paid more than $143,000 due for its work, despite numerous demands for payment.

Like three earlier Mob Experience contractor lawsuits naming the Tropicana and/or M.J. Dean as defendants, Northwestern said it’s also filed a mechanic’s lien against the Tropicana and is entitled to foreclose on that lien.

The Tropicana and M.J. Dean have not yet responded to the lawsuit, but both have said they, too, are owed money by The Mob Experience.

The contractors suing the Tropicana and/or M.J. Dean earlier were Bombard Electric LLC, Superior Tile & Marble Inc. and George M. Raymond Co.

Attorneys for the Tropicana have now responded to the Superior and George M. Raymond suits with boilerplate-like answers generally saying that “Tropicana lacks sufficient knowledge to either admit or deny the allegations” and the damages claimed were caused by the “actions of third persons over who Tropicana exercised no control.”

Demands in the lawsuits that the Tropicana be foreclosed on are unlikely to result in a foreclosure for several reasons.

First, the expected Mob Experience bankruptcy will likely put all the lawsuits on hold, so the rights of the creditors and Mob Experience investors can be sorted out.

Second, with $385 million in assets, the Tropicana has numerous ways to block a foreclosure over the liens filed against The Mob Experience. For starters, it can simply post bonds against the lien amounts while the lawsuits are litigated either in bankruptcy court or state court.

The Northwestern lawsuit lifts to at least 12 the number of lawsuits filed over the finances of The Mob Experience, which opened this spring. Of the 12 suits, 11 remain open.

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