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DoubleTree operator sues film company

By Justin Dennis

Thursday, August 22, 2019

By Justin Dennis


The company operating the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel downtown is suing more than 50 film production workers for unpaid rooms reserved last year while that crew intended to film the movie “Roadkill McGillicutty.”

Attorneys for Youngstown Stambaugh Master Tenants LLC on Tuesday filed a civil complaint in Mahoning County courts against the production company, Dallas Pike LLC of Youngstown, its principals, Cindy Castro DiRusso of Canfield and Patricia Moyer of Philadelphia, Pa., and up to 50 unidentified production workers.

Youngstown Stambaugh claims it reserved 1,609 nights in DoubleTree guest rooms between Sept. 19 and Nov. 25 of last year, which some of the unidentified workers occupied, according to the suit. However, the company didn’t receive the minimum $83,720 occupancy revenue set under an agreement. Some of the accommodations and amenities were paid with Castro DiRusso’s personal credit card, according to the suit.

Though attorneys claim production workers occupied the rooms on those days, the film “Roadkill McGillicutty” was never made.

The suit brings charges of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and quantum meruit – which seeks reasonable payment for services that wasn’t legally stipulated – and promissory estoppel – which allows the hotel to recover promised payment – and seeks an excess of $25,000 in damages for each.

Under the room reservation agreement included in the complaint, the number of reserved rooms swelled slowly until the weeks of Oct. 24 through Nov. 16 – when 38 rooms each rated at $65 were held each night – then ebbed until the Nov. 25 checkout date.

Castro DiRusso, reached by phone Wednesday, declined to comment on the suit or the circumstances behind the filming, but suggested a spokesperson would issue a statement. That statement ultimately was not issued Wednesday.

Atty. J. Michael Nicks of Galena, who is representing Youngstown Stambaugh, also declined to comment on the suit.

The city of Youngstown in December 2017 gave Roadkill McGillicutty LLC $2.5 million for a drama film intended to be produced in the city, according to Vindicator archives, but the money was never accepted.