Retirees Association

DDN: Marriott drops lawsuit against Wright State for canceled rooms

John McCance

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

A local hotel has dropped its lawsuit against Wright State University for rooms that were canceled when the school lost the first presidential debate of the 2016 election.

Attorneys representing Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co., the management company that runs and is partial owner of the Marriott at the University of Dayton, dropped its lawsuit in September.

The lawsuit, which sought at least $170,000 in damages, also named as defendants John McCance, a consultant who helped WSU secure the debate, and his consulting firm as well as the Commission on Presidential Debates. It was originally filed on May 24, according to court records.

According to the lawsuit, 130 rooms were booked for the debate commission at the Marriott on Patterson Avenue in Dayton. Although the debate was cancelled, the hotel contract called for 75 percent of the hotel costs for the rooms to be paid, according to the lawsuit.

Joshua Kin, an attorney representing Concord Hospitality, volunteered to have the case dismissed on Sept. 5. Case records do not indicate that any settlement was reached in court and Kin did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment.

UD and Concord jointly bought the Marriott for $18.5 million in 2014. Though the university is a part owner and the hotel bares UD’s name, it is not considered a university facility, according to UD.

The Marriott was chosen for the debate because it met requirements set forth by the debate commission and the United States Secret Service, McCance said.

Wright State officials declined to comment on the lawsuit directly.

“Because the chance remains that this could get re-filed in another court, we view it as pending litigation,” spokesman Seth Bauguess said. “Consistent with its long-held practice, Wright State does not comment on pending litigation.”

McCance, the former WSU consultant, is already considering refiling his own $2 million lawsuit in the Ohio Court of Claims in Columbus.

“I have met with my attorney Brian Lusardi last week and we are discussing next steps in the process and a potential timeline for filing in the Claims Court in Columbus,” McCance said via email “There’s really nothing else that I can discuss at this time.”

In January, McCance filed a lawsuit against Wright State, saying he was owed $1 million in damages for the canceled debate. But, in a counterclaim in the since-dismissed hotel lawsuit, McCance upped his claims to $2 million.

McCance’s original lawsuit was dismissed on June 15, according to court records.

McCance increased his claim from the original lawsuit because the damages have “bubbled up” and he has had a difficult time getting clients, he said.

In his lawsuit, McCance alleged that the Commission on Presidential Debates pulled the first 2016 presidential debate because of “epic gross buffoonery” and infighting, among other issues at Wright State.