MAYFIELD - The country club destroyed by fire Sunday is at the center of a lawsuit some of its shareholders filed in Graves Circuit Court in February.
Multiple fire departments responded Sunday afternoon to a fire at the South Highland Country Club, located on Ky. 303 just south of Mayfield. No one was injured and the cause of the blaze has not yet been determined. The club had reportedly been closed for several months.
Chip Adams, a Murray attorney, was recently appointed the third-party receiver of the country club's property in connection to a lawsuit that was filed less than three months ago.
"I'm a court-appointed receiver in the case to oversee the property to some degree throughout the course of the litigation," Adams said Monday. "The fact that it caught fire was quite a surprise to everybody I think. We're just going to have to wait and see what the state fire marshal and any law enforcement investigation that might ensue tells us about the cause of it because I don't think anybody knows at this point."
On Feb. 5, Mayfield residents Bobby H. Turner and his wife, Johanna P. Turner - also known as Johanna Fox Turner - filed a civil action with Turner Industries Inc. and Progressive Properties Inc. against B.S.M. Inc. The complaint states that B.S.M. owns the real property containing the South Highland Country Club and several lots in the Fountainhead Subdivision. The complaint said Bobby Turner is the registered agent for B.S.M.
The complaint said the plaintiffs loaned various sums of money to B.S.M. on four occasions between December 2008 and September 2011. It states that B.S.M. failed to abide by the contractual terms of the loan agreement and mortgage and that the corporation is past due in payment of the loan agreement.
The complaint asked for a judgment against B.S.M. in favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $1,308,354.13 plus interest from Dec. 31, 2015, at a 5.5 percent annual rate until paid. It also asked for a judgment in favor of Bobby Turner for principal and accrued interest of $208,105.34 plus interest from Feb. 8, 2016, at the rate of $28.01 a day until paid.
The complaint also asked the court to declare that the plaintiffs have valid mortgage liens on the parcels of land in question and demanded that the plaintiffs receive any profits if the property were sold. The plaintiffs also asked for a judgment requiring the defendant to cover their attorneys' fees.
A motion filed by B.S.M. on Feb. 16 asked the court to appoint a receiver for B.S.M. The motion said the corporation's current and sole director is Bobby Turner and that he, Johanna Turner and Turner Industries II Inc. are three of the corporation's four shareholders, along with Patti Dorris.
"In order to avoid a conflict of interest, the Board of BSM believes it is prudent for the Court to appoint a receiver to assist in the wind down of the business and to respond to the litigation," the motion said.
Adams accepted the appointment of receiver from Graves Circuit Clerk Heather Clapp Winfrey on March 30. In an order filed last Wednesday, April 20, Graves Circuit Judge Tim Stark ruled that Adams has the right to utilize Bobby Turner's services to manage and oversee the properties for the duration of the litigation.
Bobby Turner could not be reached for comment. When reached Monday, Johanna Turner directed all questions to Adams. Phone calls to two of the plaintiffs' attorneys named in the suit, George M. Carter of Benton and Todd A. Farmer of Paducah, were not returned.
The club, which includes an 18-hole golf course, was founded in 1959, its website said. It was originally a nine-hole facility and went through a total reconstruction and layout in the late 1990s. The site also said the club was conditioned and designed by Jodie Kinney and that the clubhouse was renovated in 2006 and could house more than 300 guests at one time.
The property commonly known as the South Highland Country Club totals close to 175 acres, but the lawsuit also includes properties in the Fountainhead Subdivision.
The complaint lists and describes four parcels of land, with the first three composing the country club and the fourth including more than 50 lots in the subdivision. Parcel I contains a tract totaling around 78 acres and another tract totaling 65.98 acres. Parcel II contains 26.46 acres, and Parcel III contains 4.0155 acres, the suit said. The acreage of the subdivision lots in Parcel IV was not specified.