Originally created 01/22/05

Parties settle in bank suit

A potential multimillion-dollar lawsuit between two local businessmen and an Atlanta-area bank was settled Friday.

David Hudson, who represented Victor Mills and Oliver Owens in their lawsuit against Tucker Federal Savings and Loan Association, said that the terms of the settlement are sealed but that both sides are satisfied with the results.

The plaintiffs had sought as much as $60 million in damages and attorney fees.

The settlement ends a Richmond County Superior Court trial that began Jan. 3. Mr. Mills and Mr. Owens filed suit against the bank in 1997. Most of the plaintiffs' case had been presented to the jury before both sides spent this week negotiating a settlement, Mr. Hudson said.

Mr. Mills and Mr. Owens contended Tucker Federal stole the business Prime Lending, which they started in Augusta in 1987, by breaking contracts and increasing monthly fees.

Tucker Federal countered that Mr. Mills and Mr. Owens violated the terms of contracts between the two businesses by dealing with Tucker Federal's competitors.

Prime Lending made mortgage and construction loans.

In November 1992, the company joined forces with Tucker Federal. The venture prospered and expanded throughout the Southeast.

Tucker Federal fired Mr. Owens and Mr. Mills in 1998.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.


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