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Year-old Michigan franchise lawsuit continues

A former Michigan franchise owner is still involved in a lawsuit involving a piece of business real estate that he previously owned. A Michigan news website reported recently that the Cottage Inn pizza chain, which is based in Ann Arbor, is the defendant in the lawsuit by a former franchise owner.

This case has endured for more than a year. The local trial court deputy administrator stated that the lawsuit involves Lester E. Myers, a person who previously owned two pizza franchises in Bay City and another in Midland and the officials of the Cottage Inn pizza chain.

The lawsuit consisted of 19 pages in which Myers accused Cottage Inn of "violating contract agreements, violating Michigan's franchise investment law, conspiracy, fraud and other charges." For their part, officials for Cottage Inn contend that these allegations are not true.

What is interesting in this commercial lawsuit is that the building where one of Myers' Cottage Inn pizza parlors was located was sold in October 2010 under the terms of a sheriff's deed. This sale comes as a result of a court order to pay off a debt, according to the media report.

Commercial litigation cases, especially those involving real estate are tricky. In such a case where a small business owner sues a larger corporation, the financial odds can be stacked in favor of the larger corporation because of its deeper pockets.

Small business owners can protect the financial interests of the corporation by knowing the business laws in their state and turning to commercial litigation experts when needed.

Source: MLive.com, " Litigation continues involving former Bay City, Midland Cottage Inn franchise owner ," Michael Wayland, March 7, 2012

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