WYNN lawyers want Okada lawsuit back in Nev. state court

Apr 2, 2012 8:07 PM

Lawyers representing Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) want the federal court to return to the Nevada state court the lawsuit they filed against company co-founder Kazuo Okada.

The suit, charging Okada with breach of fiduciary responsibility while serving as company co-chairman and as a member of the board of directors, was heard originally in state court but was moved at the request of Okada’s attorneys.

The move, according to WYNN lawyers was part of "a scheme to manipulate the legal process and to forum shop."

The request to have the case heard in state court said, "Defendants experimented in state court and, after receiving an unquestionably adverse decision, moved to do whatever they could to start anew. Defendants purposefully used the removing process as an improper attempt to forum shop."

The WYNN lawsuit alleges Okada improperly entertained Philippine gaming officials in Macau while in a countersuit Okada charges that Chairman Steve Wynn runs the company as his "personal fiefdom." Okada also points to alleged impropriety in Wynn’s promise of donating $135 million to the University of Macau.

That charge has resulted in a number of national law firms announcing their intention to investigate the Macau donation with the possibility of filing lawsuits in the interests of shareholders.