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Paicos: Town, Kraft Group ‘Very Close’ on Indemnification Agreement for Gillette Stadium Events

Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday to extend the deadline for the Kraft Group to provide a new indemnification agreement before the town issues licenses for this summer’s Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi and Kenny Chesney concerts and soccer season.

Foxborough Town Manager Kevin Paicos told selectmen Tuesday the town and Kraft Group are “getting very close” to an agreement on a new indemnification agreement for events at Gillette Stadium.

“We are still negotiating but an agreement is very close,” Paicos said. “I’ve been told through counsels there’s a lot of good work going on. Everybody is very confident it is going to get pulled together. We just need a little bit more time.”

Kraft Group attorney James Cobery, who was present for Tuesday’s New England Revolution public hearing, told selectmen he agreed with Paicos’ assessment of the negotiations.

Paicos says while an agreement is “not quite there” the negotiations are “going very well” and could be done in “another week or two.”

“It’s getting pretty close and I think well within the [30-day extension] we will get it done,” said Paicos.

With that being said, selectmen unanimously agreed to extend the indemnification agreement negotiating period 30 days.

Selectmen Clerk Lorraine Brue read into the record Tuesday a motion that stated “the time in which the licensee (Kraft Group) must comply with [outlined] conditions to the event licenses granted by [the Board of Selectmen] on Jan. 15, 2013 to hold Kenny Chesney Country Music Festival concerts, Taylor Swift concerts and Bon Jovi concert at Gillette Stadium” be extended 30 days up to and including March 28.

Simply, the Kraft Group now has until March 28th to agree to and submit a newly negotiated indemnification agreement to avoid the possibility of the town not issuing the conditionally approved licenses for Gillette Stadium’s three summer concerts and the upcoming New England Revolution season. 

Paicos expects there to be no problems with issuing those licenses because an agreement appears imminent.

Those working on the indemnification agreement are special counsel and town counsel representing Foxborough and counsel for the Kraft Group. Paicos said his involvement in the negotiations is related to insurance with the town’s insurance provider, MIIA, “to try and get the insurance aspect of the agreement buttoned up.”

According to Paicos, the purpose of these negotiations is to “cover the gaps in the indemnity coverage so anything the Kraft Group is not going to self-insure in the indemnity agreement will have a policy in place to provide coverage.”

“I’m very optimistic it will get done,” Paicos said.

During the Jan. 15 public hearings for this summer's 10th annual New England Country Music Festival, Taylor Swift and Bon Jovi concerts, Brue read a new indemnification agreement into the record and the board voted to make the new indemnification policy a condition in the approval and issuing of the licenses for the three summer events.

The new indemnification policy was presented to the Kraft Group after the organization informed town officials it would not be indemnifying the town in the class action lawsuit filed against Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary and the town of Foxborough for allegedly holding people “unlawfully” in protective custody during Gillette Stadium events. 

In a December 2012 letter to the town, The Kraft Group stated, under the current indemnification agreement between the town and NPS (Gillette Stadium), the company is not required to indemnify the town in a lawsuit with claims involving “negligence, gross negligence or willful misconduct.”

To read more on the town’s indemnification agreement with the Kraft Group, click here.

The Weldner/Dutton class action lawsuit against the town and O’Leary was originally filed on Sept. 24, 2012. Two additional concertgoers joined the lawsuit in November to challenge the town’s policy of holding people in protective custody during Gillette Stadium events.

According to the Law Offices of Howard Friedman, the suit alleges over a thousand people were held in protective custody unlawfully because they were intoxicated but not incapacitated. The suit seeks money damages for violations of the class members’ constitutional rights, as well as an end to the policy. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Boston, is called Paul Weldner et al., v. Edward O’Leary, et al., C.A. No. 12-11771-DPW.

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