Restaurant investor brings lawsuit against former partners

Maryland businesses may be interested in the story of one man’s restaurant investment that ended in multiple lawsuits. The final trial ended in a settlement.

In the early months of 2011, a New York man entered a partnership with two other men, investing up to $75,000 in the restaurant that the two men owned in Waldorf. The investor also worked in the restaurant’s kitchen for three months as a cook. According to reports, the investor was paid only twice during this time, totaling $2,000. Four months after his initial investment, the man then asked his two partners for a certificate of ownership or some other documentation of their partnership.

The man never received a certificate and found out later that the other two men had formed a limited liability company without including him as a member. The man then sued the others unsuccessfully two times. A third attempt was heard in Charles County Circuit Court on August 18. The two men argued that there were various notifications, such as the liquor license, posted around the restaurant that bore the name of the LLC. However, the investor argued that he could not speak or read English and would not have known about the existence of the LLC by looking at these postings.

After the judge noted that since the investor’s share of the restaurant profit would be $2,640 and he had already been paid $2,000, a payment of $640 would be an appropriate settlement. The parties then agreed with this settlement and dismissed the case. In business litigation cases like this, an attorney may be able to help. The attorney may be able to assist by assessing the disagreement and determining whether a settlement is possible prior to filing a lawsuit.

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