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Joplin Files Lawsuit Against Wallace Bajjali - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Files Lawsuit Against Wallace Bajjali

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The city of Joplin files a petition with the Jasper County Circuit Court to recover damages from the now defunct Joplin redevelopers Wallace Bajjali.

Diane Gerstenfeld sat down with city attorney Peter Edwards who says the decision to file the lawsuit against Wallace Bajjali and David Wallace was made several weeks ago in a closed city council meeting.

Wallace Bajjali has thirty days to respond to the petition once they have been served by the court.

He says the main reasons for the lawsuit are because of lack of communication from Wallace Bajjali, also lack of performance from the master redeveloper, and fraud when Wallace Bajjali left town about two months ago.

Edwards says there are about 20-30 held by the Joplin Redevelopment Corporation that need to be sold before the full amount of possible recoverable damages can be determined.

Right now, the lawsuit asks for $1.5 million the city is currently out after the deal went sour.

Edwards says "At this point whether we get any money back is speculative. Am I confident in bringing the suit against Wallace Bajjali that we recover a judgment? Yes, I am."

The city attorney says the decision was not in response to threats made by trucking company Prime to sue the city for up to $5 million it loaned Wallace Bajjali to help redevelop Joplin after the tornado.

Edwards also says the city's action wasn't affected by David Wallace filing for bankruptcy this Tuesday.

He claims it was mere coincidence that the city decided to take action around the same time. 
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