Billionaire Bacon's Defamation Suit Against Nygard Revived

(Bloomberg) -- The decade-long feud between billionaire Louis Bacon and Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygard over their neighboring properties in the Bahamas lives on.

A New York appeals court on Tuesday revived a defamation lawsuit filed by Bacon against Nygard in 2015, adding another chapter in the acrimony between the two. They have battled in courts from London to Los Angeles over matters including Nygard’s plans to expand his property and Bacon’s use of large speakers to drown out noise from Nygard’s parties.

Bacon had sued Nygard as part of a dispute about plans on the exclusive Lyford Cay, claiming he staged rallies targeting him and had employees vandalize his property. Nygard countersued, accusing Bacon of a vendetta. Nygard at one point bought full-page ads in two Bahamian newspapers calling for an end to the feud.

A lower court tossed out the case in 2016, saying it should be heard in the Bahamas because the dispute arose there. A panel of appellate judges in Manhattan overturned that ruling Tuesday, saying Bacon, a New York resident, would "suffer hardship" if forced to litigate in the Bahamas, where there is no right to a trial and no method to question witnesses beforehand.

Bacon said he is gratified that his case can proceed in New York.

"Mr. Bacon looks forward to presenting the overwhelming evidence of Mr. Nygard’s malicious conduct to a New York jury and to finally achieving justice," the statement said.

Aaron Marks, an attorney for Nygard who previously called the suit "frivolous," declined to comment.

The court said that while the claims relate to events in the Bahamas and most of the witnesses and documents are located there, the defendants have a substantial presence in New York and "ample resources" and wouldn’t suffer a hardship by trying the case in the city. Nygard owns an apartment in New York and his company has its principal place of business there, the appeals panel said.

The case is Bacon v. Nygard, 150400/2015, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

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