Franchisee Association Files Lawsuit Against Edible Arrangements Claiming Unfair Practices

Sep 20, 2010, 14:38 ET from EA Independent Franchisee Association

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Sept 20 /PRNewswire/ -- A lawsuit was filed today in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut by the EA Independent Franchisee Association against New Haven-based franchise company Edible Arrangements and several affiliated companies.  

The complaint alleges that Edible Arrangements has altered the business arrangement with its franchisees over the last several years, to the detriment of the Association's members and all other franchisees in the franchise system, in violation of its contractual obligations and general principles of fairness.  In addition, the complaint charges that Edible Arrangements has unfairly implemented several system-wide mandates, has enforced new mandates on a discriminatory basis and has failed to disclose necessary and required business information to its franchisees in violation of franchise disclosure rules and regulations.  

"The EA Independent Franchisee Association has been forced to take this action after efforts to discuss these serious business issues with the company were summarily rebuffed," said Justin M. Klein, a franchise attorney at the Red Bank, N.J. law firm of Marks & Klein, LLP representing the Association. "The Association represents a strong contingent of Edible Arrangements franchisees located throughout the United States who simply want a fair chance at making their businesses as successful as possible. The recently implemented and threatened mandates from Edible Arrangements create a huge obstacle toward that goal for the franchisees."

"We want a fair shot at success and an open line of communication with the company about the decisions it makes that affect our business and our lives," added Sherri Vertorano, a North Carolina-based franchisee and EA Independent Franchisee Association Member.  "Edible Arrangements makes the best product, offers great customer service and a memorable customer experience.  However, the recent mandates enacted or threatened by the company are making it far more difficult for franchisees to run a profitable store. Ultimately, if the franchisee is not happy, the experience for the customer will suffer as well.  We hope that Edible Arrangements understands that and that this lawsuit can lead to better relations between franchisee and franchisor, which, in the long run, benefits the customer."    

SOURCE EA Independent Franchisee Association