Magistrate awards Youngstown $733,480 sanction from Chill Can
A magistrate has ordered the company behind the unfinished Chill Can project to pay the City of Youngstown more money for causing delays in the legal battle between the two entities.
Magistrate Dennis Sarisky on Thursday levied a $733,480 sanction against M.J. Joseph Development Corporation, the developer behind plans to build a facility on Youngstown's Eastside that would manufacture self-chilling beverage cans.
The sanctions are in response to claims that the developer failed to fully comply with several court orders, delaying the process at the expense of the city.
City attorneys alleged that Chill Can repeatedly ignored sanctions by the court, and used delays to liquidate or hide assets that were promised to the city.
The sanction comes in addition to a September 2022 finding by Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge Maureen Sweeney that the M.J. Joseph Development Corporation had breached its contract with the city and that Youngstown was entitled to $1.5 million.
In 2016, Chill Can broke ground on a ten-acre plant on the East Side of the city and promised to bring at least 237 new jobs to the area. The project was expected to be finished 5 years ago.
According to the Joseph Development Corporation, the delays began during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the city argued that the plant was expected to hire 150 employees before the pandemic ever began.