Billionaire Bacon Can’t Sue Nygard in N.Y. Over Bahamas Feud

  • Louis Bacon has battled Peter Nygard for more than a decade
  • New York judge says claims should be heard in the Bahamas

Billionaire fund manager Louis Bacon lost another battle in his decade-long feud with Canadian clothing magnate Peter Nygard over their neighboring properties in the Bahamas as a New York judge threw out Bacon’s defamation lawsuit claiming he was forced to flee the island nation.

After an appeals court last month upheld the dismissal of claims over most of 135 statements Bacon said were part of Nygard’s harassment campaign, state court Justice Cynthia Kern on Wednesday threw out the rest, saying the case should be heard in the Bahamas because the dispute arose from their relationship as neighbors.

Bacon sued Nygard in January 2015 as part of a long-standing dispute over plans to expand his property on the exclusive Lyford Cay, claiming the clothing magnate staged rallies targeting him and had employees vandalize his property. Nygard countersued, accusing Bacon of pursuing a vendetta.

“In describing the actions that constitute the smear campaign,” Kern said, “it is clear that the allegations almost entirely involve activities which took place in the Bahamas.”

Ruling Procedural

The ruling was strictly procedural, Patrick Scanlan, a spokesman for Bacon, said in an e-mail.

“While Mr. Bacon disagrees with this decision, and is considering his appellate options, it should be noted that nothing in the court’s decision purports to exonerate Mr. Nygard for his malicious conduct.” Scanlan said.

Bacon is committed to proving his claims in whichever court is appropriate,” Scanlan said.

Kern noted that Bacon started nine separate legal actions in the Bahamas since 2011 related to the dispute. She dismissed the case on the condition that the defendants agree to the jurisdiction of that court system.

The men have fought in courts from London to Los Angeles over matters including Nygard’s plans to expand his property and Bacon’s use of large speakers to drown out noise from Nygard’s parties. Nygard in December bought full-page ads in two Bahamian newspapers calling for an end to the feud.

A New York appeals court last month upheld a Kern’s ruling dismissing most of 135 statements that Bacon said were part of the harassment campaign because he had taken too long to file them.

"This was a frivolous lawsuit brought by Mr. Bacon in an effort to further his campaign of harassing Mr. Nygard in the international media," Aaron Marks, an attorney for Nygard, said in a statement. "Justice Kern correctly found such an action has no place in a New York courthouse."

The case is Bacon v. Nygard, 150400/2015, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

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