ST. GEORGE — An early investor in the New York Wheel who claimed developers forced him out of the project has settled his lawsuit against the company.
Eric Kaufman had sued Wheel Estate LLC, saying it attempted to push him and fellow investor Meir Laufer out of the deal to get more profits for themselves.
His lawyers announced the settlement Wednesday.
"I am pleased to have resolved the issues and look forward to sharing in a successful project," Kaufman said.
The details of the settlement are confidential. Laufer had settled his own suit against the project last month.
The infighting started last year when Wheel Estate LLC filed a lawsuit to reduce Kaufman and Laufer's stakes in the project — which is building one of the the world's largest Ferris wheels on Staten Island's North Shore.
The lawsuit said the pair refused to pony up a combined $6.29 million to cover $17 million costs in 2014 — costs which were covered by other investors, according to the suit.
Laufer fired back with a suit of his own, claiming developers had been trying to push him out for a while, partly because he's Jewish.
Kaufman followed with his own suit and claimed that the project was over budget, badly managed and Wheel Estate did not follow protocol in asking for more funds.
He blamed CEO Rich Marin for letting the attraction's cost spiral out of control and said he was trying to push him out to get more profits.
Marin previously called the lawsuits "petty annoyances" that "we're working through."
On Wednesday, he said, "All investor suits have been settled amicably.”
The 630-foot-tall observation has been under construction on Staten Island's waterfront for more than a year. This week, crews installed the base that will hold the legs — the first above-ground features of the Ferris wheel.
Starting next month, crews will transport the 2,220 ton legs from the Brooklyn terminal where they're being stored and put them in place.
Developers expect to finish construction on the $590 million wheel in October of next year.