Archive for the ‘Lawsuit’ Category

Franchisor Attorney Lawsuits Evolve

As Dexter points out, this is an interesting read. Unfortunately it takes lawsuits like this to get people to do their due diligence when looking for a business to invest in. Jumping too quickly, false promises and the lure of easy money with little work have created an industry that simply can’t live up to the hype. It was a shaky foundation to begin with, then pile on association vultures who are trolling for a quick dollar and you have an industry that only survives because it is feeding on itself. When those owners can’t sustain themselves the whole thing comes tumbling down like a house of cards. In many respects this industry is nothing more than a shell game; move the money, move the marketing, cut the employees, don’t pay too close attention to what’s going on and hope you can fool enough people long enough to make some money then disappear before the cops show up.

But where will all these lawsuits lead us? Heaven only knows at this point. The lawsuit against Dream Dinners has been dragging on for years. The evidence seems to continue to mount against them, but no move has actually been made. Other stores like Make and Take Gourmet have crumbled under the weight of their lawsuits and other franchises have disappeared before litigation could latch on. In the long run however, it seems this industry will shut down before the lawsuits are ever settled.

Presently, we are hearing about lawsuits involving Peaberry Coffee and its law firm, the case is now on appeal; Forza Coffee and its outside counsel; two cases against Dream Dinners and its attorneys and law firms, including the renowned Holland & Knight; and South Beach Franchising and its Francorp development firm and in-house counsel. A case against The Coffee Beanery and its outside attorney and law firm was dismissed, so far with no further action.

Franchisor Attorney Lawsuits Evolve

Make & Take = Done & Gone = Dead & Buried

MAKE & TAKE GOURMET: Flagship Cicero Store Closes

I guess Michele will have a hard time blaming this one on the store owners. Another franchise packs up and heads home. But before they go, let’s not forget that Michele and her brand are still the targets of lawsuits from franchisees claiming fraud. Not to mention the Maryland Attorney General is also a little concerned about Make & Take Gourmet and whether they were legally allowed to sell their franchise.

It’s not a bad business model, or greed, or incompetence or mismanagement, or fraud, now it’s all the bad economy. Sharks circling because there’s blood in the water? Walls closing in? Legal fees nipping at your heels? Packing up and making a run for it like a couple other franchisors?

Spin it however you want, but out of business and facing legal charges is out of business and facing legal charges. We’ll just go ahead and add Michele to the list of closed franchises.

But before you read this final farewell, you should prepare yourself and get a tissue, it’s a sad story and a real tearjerker.

Dear Friends,
It is with much sadness that I announce that the Make and Take Gourmet store in Cicero is closing. We have really enjoyed helping you feed your families.
Unfortunately, tough economic times and rising costs have made it impossible for us to continue doing business. It was a difficult decision and not one that we wanted to have to make.
Saturday, March 28th will be our last day. Stop by and fill up your freezers with our Buy 2 Get 1 Free Blowout Event.
Thank you for all of your support over the last three years. We will miss you!

Done and DONE!

MAKE & TAKE GOURMET: Flagship Closes : Franchise Pick
MAKE & TAKE GOURMET: Flagship Cicero Store Closes

Peanut Corporation’s Bankruptcy Doesn’t Stop Lawsuits

It looks like the peanut troubles are just beginning.

Peanut Corporation of America (PCA)—the peanut processor responsible for a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium—has filed for bankruptcy protection, but attorney Bill Marler is working to change that. His firm, Seattle foodborne illness powerhouse Marler Clark, is moving to lift the stay of bankruptcy so that litigation on behalf of victims can continue.

Peanut Corporation’s Bankruptcy Doesn’t Stop Lawsuits

Another Fifteen Franchisees Sue Dream Dinners Attorneys

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (Blue MauMau) – Fifteen Dream Dinners franchise owners are suing the attorneys of the meal-assembly franchisor. The suit claims that the attorneys failed to comply with franchise laws in preparing the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (called Franchise Disclosure Documents after June 2008). It also stipulates that franchisor’s lawyers helped oversee Dream Dinners’ misleading sales process with potential buyers. Lead attorney John R. Bender, Jr. of Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, originally working with the prestigious law firm of Holland & Knight, is accused of breaching his duty to prospective franchise owners by not ensuring that the disclosure information he received from Dream Dinners matched other written sales representations. As a result, he and the two law firms are included in the franchisees’ original lawsuit against the company and its officers.

Claims of State Law Violations

Because the fifteen franchisees are from various states, the amended complaints assert violations of different states’ franchise laws. It also names which law firms were involved in the sale of franchises, depending on when the individual franchisees made their purchases. Other claims against Dream Dinners include common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and negligence of defendant attorneys. Plaintiff franchisees are requesting a jury trial and seeking rescission of their franchise agreements. Those still in operation will continue to operate their meal-preparation centers and pay royalties. Franchise operators are asking for damages, fees, interest and other costs.

Read more about this new round of lawsuits here:

Another Fifteen Franchisees Sue Dream Dinners Attorneys

Why aren’t there more lawsuits?

As I’ve been looking over the events of the last year, I really have to wonder why there aren’t more lawsuits being filed. Considering Super Suppers has copied just about everything Dream Dinners has done, including over saturating markets and selling a plan doesn’t make money, why aren’t they being held accountable for the goods they’ve sold to owners just like Dream Dinners is? They have changed their business model numerous times to try and make something work – which clearly shows to me the idea was sold prematurely. And now it’s seems a free for all has broken out with the owners just running the store in any way they choose, picking menus as they see fit and basically running their operation like an independent owner, but still paying those hefty franchise fees.

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