ATLANTA, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 17, 2012, Richard W. Story, federal judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, entered judgment against a group of plaintiffs in their case alleging fraud and racketeering against Raving Brands, Moe's Southwestern Grill and its founder Martin Sprock, for failure to assert these and other related claims in a timely manner. The Court found a lack of diligence by the group, comprised of 10 Moe's Southwest Grill franchisees, in raising the fraud and related claims stated against former franchisor Raving Brands.
"Since the sale of Moe's Southwest Grill to Focus Brands in 2007, this group of franchisees has attempted to discredit and undermine the brand with little or no regard for the brand's employees who have worked diligently on behalf of the brand and their success as franchisees," explains Daryl Dollinger, president of Raving Brands. "According to the Court, we provided a fully functional operating system to these Moe's Southwest Grill franchisees, as well as services that supported their success when Moe's Southwest Grill was part of the Raving Brands portfolio. We are now focused on the success of Raving Brands' current portfolio including Monkey Joe's Parties and Play, Cowlicks Yogurt and Floats and The Flying Biscuit Cafe."
In addition to the initial judgment, Judge Story separately entered judgment against Plaintiff Ted Tronnes because Mr. Tronnes had no evidence that he or his Moe's franchise had suffered any injury. Plaintiff Moe's Bros was also dismissed because it has not been a viable entity in the State of Georgia for more than five years. Additionally, Judge Story entered judgment against Plaintiff David Titshaw on his intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, holding that the conduct was not actionable.
All told, 25 plaintiffs have now been dismissed from the current lawsuit.
Notably, similar motions were raised by both parties in the companion case brought by Mama Fu's franchisees, Peterson v. Sprock, CEO of Raving Brands, also before Judge Story. In that case, Judge Story denied summary judgment to both Raving Brands and a group of Mama Fu's franchisee Plaintiffs whose claims included the same claims asserted in the present case. Ultimately, the case proceeded to a bench trial. After hearing two weeks of evidence, Judge Story entered judgment in favor of Raving Brands on each claim and ordered the franchisee group to reimburse the Defendants over $400,000, representing attorneys' fees and expenses related to the case. Raving Brands and other defendants have similarly asked Judge Story to impose an award of attorney's fees against these 12 recently-defeated plaintiffs.
Raving Brands founded Moe's Southwest Grill in 2000 and sold it in 2007 to Atlanta-based Focus Brands. Today, Raving Brands franchises restaurant concepts including The Flying Biscuit Cafe and Cowlicks Yogurt and Floats, as well as Monkey Joe's Parties and Play, a children's entertainment concept.
About Raving Brands
Raving Brands is a global franchise incubator of fast growing concepts, including two today within food, beverage and family entertainment. Its brands include Monkey Joe's Parties and Play, The Flying Biscuit Cafe and Cowlicks Yogurt and Floats. Raving Brands also holds the international rights to several of its original concepts including Mama Fu's Asian Kitchen, PJ's Coffee of New Orleans and Doc Green's Gourmet Salads. For more information, visit www.ravingbrands.com.
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SOURCE Raving Brands