According to the lawsuit filed Monday in Tulsa County District Court, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC presented financial statements that unfairly represented the "unrestricted" assets of the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust, on which the bank relied in deciding to participate in the loan for Great Plains Airline.
The trust claims that the assets reflected on the statements are restricted assets, which cannot be used, the lawsuit states.
Officials from PricewaterhouseCoopers did not return telephone calls seeking comment on Tuesday.
A $30 million loan to the Tulsa Industrial Authority was guaranteed by the airports trust. The authority then loaned the money to Great Plains, which attempted to launch coast-to-coast air service.
The airline defaulted on the loan in March 2004, and four months later the authority exercised its right to require the trust to buy the property and loan. The trust refused, claiming that all of its assets were restricted.
The bank alleges that without the "professional negligence" of PricewaterhouseCoopers in expressing an opinion on the trust's financial statement, the bank would not have participated in the loan and thus suffered a loss of $9,466,528, including interest and fees, as of June 30.
Great Plains filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2004. It converted its bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 liquidation last year after executives said efforts to find financing and investors had been unsuccessful.
Former Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune tried to get the City Council last year to approve a settlement that would have the city assume liability for $7.5 million in debt related to the airline.
But he reversed his stand after a legal opinion warned that legal risk to the mayor and city councilors was high until a court ruled on the validity of the trust's obligation.