Equifax Claims Landlord's Actions Voided Lease Deal | WABE 90.1 FM

Equifax Claims Landlord's Actions Voided Lease Deal

Atlanta, GA – Claims and counterclaims are flying in the lawsuit pitting Equifax Inc. against the owners of its former headquarters.
In November, 1600 Peachtree LLC sued Equifax for $42.9 million, claiming the company didn't live up to its lease termination agreement after Equifax moved to its new digs up Peachtree and troubled tech firm iXL Enterprises took over the building.
In its answer and counterclaim, filed Jan. 2 in Fulton County Superior Court, Equifax claims the landlord has taken actions "that have injured Defendant, that have increased its risk, or that have exposed it to greater liability" during iXL's stay in the building.
IXL merged into rival firm Scient Corp. and left the building in late September.
Those actions include 1600 Peachtree not giving iXL all of the promised money to upgrade the building's interior and the landlord suing iXL for unpaid rent, which allegedly decreased the chance that iXL could sublease some of the space it didn't need and hurt the company's cash position, according to the counterclaim.
Because Equifax guaranteed the landlord a rental stream in the lease termination agreement, it considers itself a guarantor and under the state's guaranty law, any move by the landlord to increase Equifax's risk or liability relieves the company of its obligations under the lease termination agreement.
Not surprisingly, 1600 Peachtree doesn't see it that way, according to its reply (filed Jan. 14) to the plaintiff's counterclaim.
In the Jan. 14 filing, the landlord states Equifax refused to participate in the iXL negotiations and subsequent litigation, so "Equifax cannot be heard now to complain of the iXL litigation or its settlement." Similar arguments are made about the iXL lease termination.
With the arguments in, both sides are demanding a jury trial. Stay tuned.