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Court rejects appeal in Tony Finau lawsuit

Posted at 2:15 PM, Feb 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-17 23:31:32-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Court of Appeals ruled Thursday to affirm the dismissal of the lawsuit against pro golfer Tony Finau. The court of appeals heard arguments on the lawsuit back in August 2023.

In 2021, David Hunter sued Tony Finau, his brother Gipper Finau, and his father Kelepi "Gary" Finau over what his legal team said was a breach of contract over money his company, ICON Sports, was owed after investing in the Finau Corporation, which was created back in 2007. The company was dissolved in 2009, long before Tony Finau had attained fame in the golf world.

As FOX 13 News previously reported, the suit was dismissed by a judge in Provo's 4th District Court on the grounds that the statute of limitations for a breach-of-contract claim had run out by the time the suit was filed. The judge at the time also noted that the agreement was with the Finau Corporation, and not the Finau family directly.

Hunter's team appealed the dismissal. However, according to the opinion drafted by appellate judge Ryan Tenney, he failed to articulate why the court erred in its decision.

"In his brief, Hunter made no separate arguments regarding the court’s dismissal... instead focusing his challenge on the court’s decision to dismiss his claims...," Tenney writes. "In a few places in his opening and reply briefs, however, Hunter did more broadly request reversal of the 'dismissal of [his] complaint' without qualification."

One of the arguments in the appeal concerned whether or not the rule discovery tolled the statute of limitations. Tenney argues that Hunter does not clearly state which aspect of the rule would call the dismissal into question.

He further notes that one of the main points mentioned suit, the dissolution of the Finau Corporation, directly refutes any potential argument that Hunter and ICON Sports did not know about the dissolution. This was further noted by the fact that Hunter's predecessor at the company was present on the conference call where the dissolution was discussed.