Longshoremen to appeal judge's ruling tossing out their arena lawsuit

Mar 4, 2013

Longshoremen in Seattle plan to appeal a recent judge’s ruling that threw out their challenge to a new Sonics basketball arena.

The longshoremen’s union argued that the city of Seattle, King County and investor Chris Hansen violated state environmental laws when they signed an agreement for the arena. They said that memorandum of understanding focuses too much on the site Hansen prefers – in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. And that’s before an environmental review is finished.

A judge disagreed, tossing out their lawsuit. Peter Goldman is an attorney for the longshoremen’s union. He says they’re asking the Washington Court of Appeals for a fast-track review.

"This memorandum of understanding went too far and has all but cemented the arena in SoDo," Goldman said.

The city of Seattle, King County and a lawyer for Hansen have all argued that the agreement is non-binding. The city and county can reject the deal depending on the environmental review results.

This lawsuit isn’t the only stumbling block for Hansen’s bid to bring the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. The NBA has to approve that purchase and there’s now a competing bid from a group in California.