Oct 29 Charlie Ergen's Dish Network Corp won
dismissal on Tuesday of a lawsuit brought by Phil Falcone's
Harbinger Capital Partners in a fight over LightSquared Inc, a
wireless communications business that is in bankruptcy.
Harbinger had sought $4 billion from Dish in the lawsuit,
alleging that Dish had tried to strip Falcone of ownership of
The legal team for Ergen had called the lawsuit a
transparent bid by Falcone to hold onto LightSquared after
driving it into bankruptcy.
Judge Shelley Chapman of the U.S. bankruptcy court in New
York ruled from the bench after a hearing on Tuesday and
dismissed the claims against Dish, attorneys on both sides said
Robert Giuffra, an attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell who
represented Dish and co-defendants EchoStar Corp, said Chapman
also dismissed all other claims in the lawsuit.
David Friedman, an attorney with Kasowitz Benson Torres &
Friedman who represented Harbinger, had a different take on
Chapman's ruling. He said the judge did not dismiss one claim in
the lawsuit, in which the hedge fund is attempting to block
Ergen from collecting payments on $1 billion of LightSquared
Dish did not immediately respond for a request for comment,
and a transcript from the hearing was not immediately available.
Chapman also said her ruling did not bar LightSquared,
rather than its controlling shareholder Harbinger, from pursuing
similar claims, the lawyers said.
Dish is expected to be the lead bidder at a bankruptcy
court-supervised auction for LightSquared's spectrum assets. The
satellite TV company has a baseline bid of $2.2 billion.
Harbinger's lawsuit alleged that Ergen and his affiliates
engaged in a complex fraudulent scheme of amassing loans to
become LightSquared's biggest lender and using that position to
try to strip Falcone of the company.
The complaint alleged that Ergen used a specially created
investment management firm to acquire LightSquared loans, even
though a credit agreement prevented competitors from buying such
LightSquared provides satellite-based mobile voice and data
services to hundreds of thousands of devices used in the public
safety, security and asset-tracking sectors. It is building a 4G
LTE broadband mobile network that it says will serve 260 million
LightSquared filed for Chapter 11 in May of 2012 after the
Federal Communications Commission tentatively stopped it from
building its network amid concerns in the GPS industry about
potential signal interference from a swath of LightSquared's
The case is: In re LightSquared Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court
for the Southern District of New York, No. 12-12080.