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Ohio Supreme Court takes Falfas case

Tom Jackson • Sep 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM

The legal feud between Cedar Fair and its former No. 2 executive apparently will drag on for about another year at least.

The Ohio Supreme Court said Wednesday it will hear Cedar Fair’s appeal in the company’s ongoing legal dispute with Jacob “Jack” Falfas, the former chief operating officer for the company. Falfas and Cedar Fair parted ways in June 2010.

During a cell phone call between Falfas and Cedar Fair’s then-CEO Dick Kinzel, Falfas either quit — that’s Kinzel’s version — or he was fired, as Falfas contends.

Falfas won a 2-1 arbitration ruling, but he has been battling to collect on that victory in a series of court actions. The amusement park giant apparently decided it could not live with the last legal ruling, an April decision by the Sixth District Court of Appeals in Toledo.

The appeals court ruled 3-0 in April that Cedar Fair must award Falfas back pay and also said Cedar Point must give Falfas his job back. Falfas’ attorney, Richard Panza, estimated Falfas is owed more than $2 million.

Cedar Fair first had to convince the Ohio Supreme Court to take the case, so Wednesday’s ruling clears that initial hurdle.

“We’re pleased that the court decided to review the case,” said Stacy Frole, Cedar Fair’s spokeswoman.

Each side will be given the opportunity to file briefs, and then the justices will listen to arguments, probably in late spring or early summer, with a decision likely in the second half of 2014.

Frole had no comment when asked if Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair’s current CEO, was surprised at being told in a court ruling to take back an executive from the previous administration.

“We are extremely proud of our current management team,” said Frole, noting that Cedar Fair has racked up three years of record results.

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