CHARLESTON – Three lawsuits involving Tara Retail Group have been referred to the bankruptcy court.

Two of the lawsuits were filed in April 2017 in Kanawha Circuit Court and were removed to federal court the following month. The third lawsuit was filed in September 2016 in federal court.

One of the lawsuits alleged that residential properties were damaged by the backup of the culvert at the Crossings Mall after the bridge collapsed in June 2016.

Another suit alleged that Tara’s lender did not authorize repairs as requested and caused tenants for the mall to vacate to find other places to run their businesses.

The third suit was filed by the lender against Tara for defaulting on its loans for the property.

Tara filed for bankruptcy in January 2017. The bridge to Crossings Mall was re-constructed in 2017,  after a bankruptcy judge granted a motion for financing. The mall was then re-opened.

Other lawsuits have been filed involving the bridge collapse, including a suit against the West Virginia Department of Transportation by Tara, alleging the DOT was responsible for rebuilding the bridge and failed to do so. That lawsuit was dismissed last month in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The owners of Tara Retail Group, William Abruzzino and Rebecca Abruzzino, have been in the spotlight over the last several years over their bankruptcy proceedings with Tara, as well as bankruptcy proceedings with Mountain Blue Hotel Group, where they have defaulted on multi-million dollar loans for a hotel in Morgantown.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 1:17-bk-00057

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