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HARTFORD, Conn. — Getty Properties Corp. and NECG Holdings Corp. can regain possession of several gas stations in the Constitution State following a Tuesday decision rendered by the Connecticut Supreme Court.
In the case, Getty Properties Corp. v. ATKR LLC, No. 19298, the Supreme Court upheld a trial court's decision that the termination of a master lease between Getty Properties and its prior tenant Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc. (GPMI) also effectively terminated the sublease between GPMI and its subtenant, Green Valley Oil LLC.
Green Valley subsequently entered into sub-subleases with several independent gas station operators.
Getty Properties originally sent a notice to GPMI in late 2011 terminating the master lease it had with GPMI based on alleged nonpayment defaults, but GPMI immediately filed for bankruptcy protection.
Getty Properties then offered subtenant operators the opportunity to continue running the gas stations on a month-by-month basis. However, subtenants rejected this plan and sent rent checks directly to Getty Properties. Getty Properties rejected the checks, as well as the subtenant proposal.
According to a news release, the Connecticut Supreme Court lent weight to the fact that Getty Properties "immediately rejected the defendant rent checks and explicitly eschewed the defendant's proposed arrangement to remain subtenants."
"The Supreme Court’s decision relied upon the express contractual terms of the leases at issue, and wisely interpreted the facts of this case under prevailing Connecticut law in correctly holding that Getty Properties had met the requirements of the summary process statute and was entitled to reclaim its rightful properties," said Cort T. Malone, a shareholder at law firm Anderson Kill and counsel to Getty Properties.