Extension OK'd in Mercantile, Jacobs lawsuits Missed payment spurs legal tangle


Eli S. Jacobs and Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co. will have more time to prepare their multimillion-dollar lawsuits arising from a defaulted loan.

On Monday, Baltimore City Circuit Judge David Ross approved a joint request by Mr. Jacobs, owner of the Orioles, and Mercantile to extend filing deadlines until Dec. 1, court documents say.

Without the approval for a delay, the bank would have been required to answer Mr. Jacobs' response to its suit no later than this past Tuesday.

In the papers, the parties said the extra time "will facilitate the discussions" and "will serve to economize the resources of this court."

The extension, first reported yesterday by the Daily Record, is the latest development in a legal tangle that began in mid-August when Mercantile sued Mr. Jacobs to recover a $21.3 million loan. The suit was filed after he missed an interest-only payment he owed in August.

Mr. Jacobs responded last month, filing a $125 million suit in which he charged the bank with fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract, among other things.

Mr. Jacobs said in his lawsuit that he has been working on a comprehensive debt-restructuring plan "designed to treat all the lenders fairly and equitably and to obtain a restructuring satisfactory to everyone."

Mr. Jacobs said in the court filings that he had been making progress in restructuring until Mercantile filed its suit, an action Mr. Jacobs alleged is designed to thwart that effort. Attorneys for the bank and for Mr. Jacobs did not return telephone calls yesterday.

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