It was millionaire vs. billionaire in a Los Angeles courtroom yesterday – and it looks as if the billionaire body-slammed the millionaire and left him bleeding on the floor.
Attorneys representing Katherine Jackson couldn’t persuade a California jury that AEG Live bore any liability for the death of Jackson’s son Michael (you may have heard of him) from a drug overdose.
Curiously, the trial’s outcome may have a considerable impact upon the ongoing redevelopment of downtown Colorado Springs.
We know Perry Sanders as the bold and visionary developer who transformed the once-derelict Mining Exchange Building into an absurdly wonderful and welcoming four-star hotel. There’s another Perry Sanders as well, a brilliant trial lawyer who is Katherine Jackson’s personal attorney.
Had her suit been successful, AEG might have been liable for damages of $1 billion or more. Some considerable part of any award would have gone to the attorneys who represented her throughout the suit, and Sanders might have been in line for an eight or nine-figure payday.
Perry loves downtown, he loves to build things and he loves to control the deal. A Perry with tens of millions burning a hole in his pocket would be a one-man boom, making all those forlorn vacant lots in central downtown a suddenly endangered species
But wait a minute! AEG is owned by Phil Anschutz, who also owns the Gazette and the Broadmoor Hotel. He’s the billionaire body-slammer. Now that he’s fended off the Jackson lawsuit, will he feel that much richer, that much more expansive, that much more willing to expand his investments in Colorado Springs?
Southwest Downtown maybe? I can see it now: Anschutz Field, proud home of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. And on the center field wall, an advertisement: The Mining Exchange Hotel.
Perry and Phil, partnering to benefit their city…we can dream, can’t we?