Chill Can Youngstown

Court Denies Chill-Can Request, Allows More Time

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A court has denied M.J. Joseph Development Corp.’s request for a teleconference related to an earlier order that compels the company to produce documents in its legal dispute with the city.

It did, however, grant the company more time to deliver the records.

The city countersued M.J. Joseph in May 2021 for breach of contract, arguing the company reneged on its promises to build a $20 million “chill-can” campus on the East Side and create 237 jobs in exchange for city incentives.

Mahoning County Common Pleas Magistrate Dennis Sarisky submitted the latest ruling Wednesday after the city filed a motion a day earlier opposing the company’s request for the conference.

On March 9, Sarisky ordered that M.J. Joseph – the developer of the stalled Chill-Can project — turn over documents that the city says it asked for months ago, court papers say. The order stipulated that the company had one week to deliver the documents.

Attorneys for M.J. Joseph responded that it needed more time to retrieve the documents and requested an “emergency” teleconference regarding the matter. 

While Sarisky’s latest ruling denies the company’s motion, it allows M.J. Joseph until March 31 to produce the documents, according to the order.

These documents include communications, financial records, corporate documents, documentation of ownership, tax return information, and internal notes and records related to the Chill-Can project, the filing says.

In February, the city filed a motion seeking sanctions against M.J. Joseph, alleging it has failed to produce documents instrumental in its case against the company.

The city seeks damages of approximately $2.8 million from the developer.  These damages mostly relate to a $1.5 million development grant the city awarded the project and more than $700 million in demolition, acquisition and remediation costs the city incurred to prepare the 21-acre site.

In return, the company promised to build a beverage and research complex devoted to developing self-chilling technology and manufacturing the world’s first “chill-can.”

M. J. Joseph filed a lawsuit in April 2021, arguing the city had no right under the development agreements to reclaim any funds or land.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.