Recent Case Results

Goodell DeVries Client Prevails On All Claims Related To Florida Franchise

August 2017

On June 27, 2017, Constantine J. Themelis and Kamil Ismail prevailed on behalf of Cluck-U Corporation, a restaurant franchise headquartered in Maryland on all claims related to a Franchise Agreement with a North Port, Florida franchisee.

In Cluck-U Chicken, Inc. v. Cluck-U Corporation, et. al., presided over by Magistrate Judge Mark A. Pizzo of the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, the Florida franchisee asserted various claims against Cluck-U Corporation for fraud, violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and breach of the Franchise Agreement.  Cluck-U Corporation asserted breach of contract claims against the Florida franchisee for inappropriately closing a Cluck-U store in 2015 and opening a competing restaurant in the same location. 

Before trial, Cluck-U Corporation gained summary judgment in favor of both the franchise and its owner on the majority of the claims.  During a four-day jury trial, at the close of all evidence, the Court granted Cluck-U Corporation’s Motion for Directed Verdict and entered judgment as a matter of law for all claims asserted by the Florida franchisee. As a result, the jury was instructed to disregard all of the Florida franchisee’s claims, and deliberated exclusively on Cluck-U Corporation’s claims for breach of contract against the Florida franchisee.  After a short deliberation, the jury came back with a unanimous verdict in favor of Cluck-U Corporation finding that the Florida franchisee had breached the Franchise Agreement. Cluck-U Corporation was awarded liquidated damages and attorney’s fees as a result of the Florida franchisee’s breach.