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Tuesday, February 6, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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County Wants Suits Heard In Seattle

Seattle Times Staff Reporter

King County lawyers were expected to be in Kittitas County Superior Court this afternoon to ask a judge to consolidate Ken Behring's lawsuit with their own and have both heard in Seattle.

Behring's attorneys say they filed suit in Ellensburg because they believe they are unlikely to get a fair hearing in King County.

Attorneys for King County believe their lawsuit should be given preference over Behring's because they filed their claim first on Friday.

The county is seeking to force Behring and his son, David Behring, to honor the remaining 10 years of their Kingdome lease. The Behrings want to be released from it.

Meanwhile, two additional lawsuits have been filed against Behring and the Seahawks, one on behalf of season ticket-holders and the other for sports-bar owners. Both were filed yesterday in King County Superior Court.

Federal Way attorney David Larson, a Seahawk season-ticket holder for two years, claims in his lawsuit that moving the franchise would break a contract with season ticket-holders. He said he would not have bought tickets if he knew the team could leave town at any time.

The second lawsuit was filed by a downtown Seattle sports bar, Jersey's, and its owner, Chris Clifford.

His suit targets not only Behring and the Seahawks, but also the National Football League and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Clifford says sports bars such as his have paid taxes and made investments based on the Kingdome lease and Behring's assurances the team was staying.

Larson and Clifford will ask the courts that each of their suits be certified as class-actions so that others in similar situations may join.

Copyright (c) 1996 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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