Lawyer to judge: Unseal filings in suit over failed 38 studios deal, public has right to know

Associated Press

A lawyer for Rhode Island's economic development agency is asking a judge to unseal filings in its lawsuit over the failed 38 Studios deal, saying the public has a right to know.

Max Wistow, who represents the former Economic Development Corp., said in a motion filed last week that there's a public interest in unsealing the documents because those involved have asked a judge to rule immediately on whether many claims in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit can go forward.

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Wistow said motions for summary judgment were filed under seal because they refer to depositions and documents designated as confidential.

He also wants to keep future related filings public.

"The case has reached a point where discovery is complete, and the court is being asked to make substantive decisions on the case," Wistow said Monday. "The public has a right to know the basis for these decisions."

A Superior Court judge plans to hear arguments Friday.

Lawyers for the defendants didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's failed video game company got a $75 million state-backed loan. The EDC, which has since been renamed the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, sued Schilling and 13 others over the collapse, alleging fraud, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, among other things.

The lawsuit does not ask for a specific dollar amount but for the defendants to repay the bonds. The suit seeks triple damages.

In July, a judge approved a $4.4 million settlement between the agency and lawyer Antonio Afonso Jr. and his firm, Moses Afonso Ryan, which worked on the sale of the bonds that financed that deal.

It is the only settlement in the case so far.

A trial date has not been set.