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Restaurant Dispute Shows How Quickly Partners Can Fall Out

Jim M. Zadeh
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Attorney at Law
Posted on Feb 10, 2013

An ongoing dispute in Massachusetts shows how quickly things can spiral out of control when one partner in a business sues another. According to the Boston Globe online, the owners of two Hingham-area restaurants, Wahlburgers and Alma Nove, recently filed a suit against former partner Edward St. Croix, alleging that he “mismanaged funds, unjustly took restaurant money, and lived lavishly off restaurant accounts.” The suit alleges that, even though Alma Nove took in a respectable $4.5 million in revenues in its first year, the restaurant was unaccountably operating at a loss.

In return, St. Croix filed his own lawsuit at the start of the year, claiming that his former partners were the ones who mismanaged the business, and were now “slandering” him to cover their incompetence. To quote from the story: “St. Croix denied the allegations, and puts forth several of his own, including that Paul Wahlberg spent money from a joint-management account to pay for his wife’s bills, gave his wife a salary although she did no work, and paid for a private jet for his brother, Mark Wahlberg. The countersuit also alleged that Wahlberg and the new Wahlburgers general manager, Rick Vanzura, had no right to remove St. Croix from a management position.”

Clearly, more is at stake for the disputants than the survival of the restaurants. If St. Croix did in fact help himself to company funds to maintain his lifestyle, he may be open to criminal prosecution—and if he can show that these allegations are false, the restaurants' current owners may be facing a steep libel judgment.

Are you a business owner in the Dallas area who is currently in a partnership dispute? Contact Fort Worth commercial litigation attorney Jim Zadeh today at 888-713-5418 to find out what he can do for you!

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