The insurance company that will pay to finish Hartford’s minor league baseball stadium is already fighting to get its money back. Arch Insurance is demanding nearly $19 million from the developer and at least one other company.
Surety companies aren’t in the business of losing money.
“They charge a premium, as an insurance company would, for issuing a bond or bonds," said attorney Steven Kaplan, who practices construction and surety law. “However, unlike an insurance company, their agreements require that they basically lose no money. So if they have to pay money on claims, whether it’s to an owner under a performance bond or to subcontractors under a payment bond claim, they’re supposed to get reimbursed.”
The question now is, by whom?
An attorney for the stadium’s ousted developer, Centerplan, said the insurance company has already made a demand for nearly $19 million of it and its chief Bob Landino.
But according to federal court documents, Arch is also going after another company -- Greenskies Renewable Energy -- a Middletown-based solar company.
But why would an energy company be on the hook?
It’s complicated. But it goes like this. According to a lawsuit filed by Greenskies to stop the action, Landino is a member of the company. And in the course of getting bonding from Arch Insurance for the energy company, Landino signed a document that obligated him and Centerplan to cover Greenskies’ losses. That’s not unusual.
What is unusual is this: Arch Insurance claims that same document obligates Greenskies and its members to cover Centerplan’s losses, too -- including more than $18 million for the stalled stadium project.
Steven Kaplan said he hasn’t seen anything like this before.
"Not that that couldn’t happen," he said. "But it’s certainly extraordinary."
Arch declined to comment. Greenskies did not respond. And Centerplan’s attorney said he’s working to resolve the matter.