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A pair of well-known Chattanooga businessmen have been sued after they were alleged to have backed out of a deal to sell more than 6,100 acres of land in Hamilton and Sequatchie counties.

But an attorney for brothers Z. Cartter Patten III and W.A. Bryan Patten on Tuesday denied the allegations in the lawsuit filed in federal court earlier this month in Chattanooga and pledged to file a response.

C. Lee Eggert, of Brandon, Florida, said in the suit that he and the Pattens were parties to a Feb. 11, 2021, joint venture agreement that concerned 6,161 acres of land.

Eggert attorney Michael Abelow, of Nashville, said in an email that the property is on Maizie Ridge, Eight Oak Ridge, Gadd Ridge and The Horseshoe, which are east of Walden's Ridge.

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Staff File Photo / Z. Cartter Patten III

The suit said his client notified the Pattens on March 10, 2022, that Eggert was exercising his option.

The purchase price was more than $11.6 million, the suit said.

According to the suit, Z. Cartter Patten took the position that the joint venture agreement was invalid because he "supposedly lacked the capacity to enter into" the document. But the suit said Z. Cartter Patten had the capacity to do so.

Also, the suit said Z. Cartter Patten said that closing under the option need not occur because, supposedly, Eggert lacked the ability to close. But the suit said the agreement did not require Eggert to prove his ability to close prior to the closing date.

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Staff File Photo / W.A. Bryan Patten

Eggert told the Pattens that Consolidated Timberlands LLC would provide Eggert with the funds to close the transaction, the suit said, but Z. Cartter Patten stated through his attorney that he was not willing to close the deal or extend the closing deadline.

Eggert's attorney in the suit asked the court to extend the deadline and require the Pattens to close the deal. Or, Eggert requested that the court award him damages based on the difference between his purchase price from the Pattens and the price at which he would have been able to re-sell the property to Consolidated Timberlands, which is more than $1.5 million, the suit said.

Cathy Dorvil, a Chattanooga attorney representing the Pattens, said in a phone interview Tuesday that her answer will deny all the allegations in Eggert's lawsuit and dispute the validity of the joint venture agreement.

"We don't believe he was acting in good faith," she said, adding Eggert did not have the right to purchase the property.

Abelow in an email termed the suit "a straightforward breach of contract case, and Mr. Eggert is looking to simply close the deal the parties agreed on."

"As our complaint illustrates, the Pattens validly entered into a contract, and Mr. Eggert had the ability to close the transaction," he said. "We're confident we will meet our burden of proof and show that the Pattens breached this contract."

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.

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