Cognition Brewing Company wins lawsuit against Mather Inn

Judge Karl A. Weber ruled in favor of Cognition Brewing Company in Marquette County District...
Judge Karl A. Weber ruled in favor of Cognition Brewing Company in Marquette County District Court Sept. 18. (WLUC)
Published: Sep. 18, 2017 at 6:23 PM EDT
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Judge Karl A. Weber ruled in favor of Cognition Brewing Company in Marquette County District Court Sept. 18.

The dispute started with a $6,700 rent payment and a $4,700 payment for electrical work. Mather Inn and Cognition Brewing Company were going to exchange checks in late January 2017.

But that exchange never happened, and Mather Inn took Cognition Brewing Company to court over nonpayment.

The trial began in July, and included days of testimony. When the verdict came out, Cognition owner Jay Clancey said he was glad that the bench trial was finally over.

"So many emotions happening right now: gratitude for the judge's decision, of course, a huge sense of relief and a great sense of optimism looking forward," he said.

Judge Weber ruled Cognition had made a good faith effort to pay their rent, and thus was never in default of their lease. That means Cognition won't have to pay the $37,997 Mather Inn charged in interest, late fees and other alleged debts. (With rent, the charge was originally a total of $55,998.57, which was later adjusted to $44,697.)

Friends and supporters lined up to applaud Clancey and congratulate him after the decision was read.

"The amount of support I've gotten from the entire community, the entire area, the brewing community across the state, has just been overwhelming," Clancey said.

Mather Inn co-owner Robin Baird left the courtroom without making any comment.

Clancey has a separate case moving through the Marquette County Circuit Court alleging Mather Inn violated Michigan anti-lockout laws when co-owners Robin and Teresa Baird ordered snow to be piled in front of Cognition's entrance in early February 2017.

Clancey said he hoped to remain at Cognition's current location, where he has already invested $250,000 in improvements.