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Old Y trial canceled

BY Carolyn Muyskens - cmuyskens@chronicle-tribune.com

The lawsuit over the failed YMCA project will not go to trial next week.

The City of Marion is appealing the judge's dismissal earlier this week of two of the city's three claims against defendant London Witte Group, the city's former financial advisers.

Had the trial gone forward, 120 Grant County residents would have appeared in court Monday to be whittled down to six jurors and two alternates. But the appeal means a trial won't be held until the Indiana Court of Appeals weighs in.

The city told the judge Wednesday it plans to appeal the decision to dismiss the city's claims of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. The judge ruled Monday the two-year statute of limitations for those claims had expired before the city filed its suit naming London Witte as a defendant.

The city, in its opposing motions, argues the clock on the statute of limitations should not start to run until December of 2015, after Michael An's death, when the city claimed to have learned of the possibility that funds were misused.

But in his order, the judge said the city became aware of possible issues in the spring of 2014 at the latest, when the city requested investigations into the project.

The city's attorneys said Wednesday they would work to expedite the appeal process.

London Witte Group also said it plans to cross-appeal the judge's decision on the remaining claim against London Witte, the count of constructive fraud.

Once the appeals court makes a decision, the case will come back to Haas's courtroom again and the trial could go forward.

Meanwhile, the judge said he believes he still has the jurisdiction to make rulings in the case on outstanding issues such as how much the city will have to pay for the time of London Witte's expert witness.

Another issue is the discovery of several filing cabinets in the former YMCA building during a walkthrough in May.

One of the parties will need to request a court order to retrieve the filing cabinets and any documents inside.