Ice Miller’s Creditors’ Rights and Commercial Law group successfully represented Warren City Schools against a $4 million personal property tax refund claim by RG Steel Warren, LLC.

RG Steel Warren, a claimed successor to WCI Steel, Inc., filed a Mandamus Action in the 11th District Court of Appeals against the Trumbull County Auditor and Treasurer, seeking an order requiring Trumbull County Officials to issue a tax refund check payable to RG Steel Warren for approximately $4 million.

The impact on Ice Miller’s client, the Warren City Schools, would have been devastating: Warren City Schools alone would have lost more than $2 million in levy money in school year 2013-2014.

Ice Miller prepared papers requesting that the Warren City Schools be allowed to intervene in the Mandamus Action. After that intervention was allowed by the 11th District Court of Appeals, the Warren City Schools promptly filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and argued that RG Steel Warren’s claims were without merit for six reasons, including the argument that RG Steel Warren was not a successor to WCI Steel.

The 11th District Court of Appeals granted the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Warren City Schools and held that the refund claim was not payable to RG Steel Warren, due to the events that had occurred in the course of the bankruptcy of WCI Steel.

RG Steel Warren appealed that decision to the Ohio Supreme Court. The case was pending on appeal when Trumbull County and RG Steel Warren negotiated a final settlement of the claim for the relatively nominal sum of $120,000.00, saving Trumbull County Schools and subdivisions nearly $4 million. 

“We are very pleased that Ice Miller was able to defeat RG Steel Warren’s claim for a tax refund of over $4 million. The children of the Warren City Schools and all of the school districts in Trumbull County were the winners in this case,” said Angela Lewis, Treasurer of Warren City Schools.

Ice Miller lawyers Colette Gibbons, Rob Stefancin and Dan Anderson served as counsel on this matter.
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