LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A man who placed fifth on the television show The Biggest Loser now claims he was also a big loser in the construction of a brand new 83-acre of a new sports complex in west Louisville.
Coach Mozziz DeWalt has filed a lawsuit alleging Louisville Urban League President Sadiqa Reynolds, Mayor Greg Fischer’s office, and the Metro Sports Commission stole his idea for the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center and the work he had done on it for decades.
Mozziz DeWalt said the city has needed a place for kids to flex their athleticism while aiming for a chance at pursuing higher education. That’s what he told WAVE 3 News on Friday his organization, The Village of Louisville, Inc., aimed to do decades ago.
“I look at it, and the pictures I’ve seen, because I haven’t been invited in,” Mozziz DeWalt, who goes by “Coach Mo,” said, “but [the complex] is just like I envisioned it. It’s how I saw it. I’m glad it’s up. It’s finally up, but you’re just not involved.”
Mozziz DeWalt alleges each party stole his vision and infringed on intellectual property in the development of the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center. His legal complaint claims confidential renderings, data and research were used throughout the complex’s development and alleges Reynolds “took this idea, cut out the plaintiffs and chose to pass it off as her own.”
Despite the lawsuit’s allegations, Reynolds defended herself and the Urban League. She told WAVE 3 News that Mozziz DeWalt walked away from the project over unwillingness to collaborate with other coaches and investors and was unhappy with the naming rights of the building.
Mozziz DeWalt said he never walked away.
“To say I walked away from the table, to me, it doesn’t make sense,” he said. “Why would I do 20 years of research and work?”
As for Reynolds, she is waiting to be called for a court date over the matter and is instead focusing on keeping the doors open and lights on at the complex.
“You can imagine what it feels like to take on this kind of task,” Reynolds said of her efforts regarding the project. “I never imagined we would be building something like this. The largest part of that was getting the money for it.”
Mozziz DeWalt said he hopes to get compensation in damages and get invited to more collaborative effort concerning the complex.
Reynolds said she hopes the entire case is dismissed.
“This wasn’t for me. This was for the City of Louisville, for the kids of Louisville,” she said. “It’s what I’ve been doing my entire life.”
Though the Village of Louisville, Inc. did not collaborate on the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center, Mozziz DeWalt said donations are being taken to raise money for track and field training and to offer educational services for Louisville children through the organization. To donate, click here.