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Fitzgerald Knaier Secures Trial Victory in Long-Running Pat & Oscar's Litigation
O's American Kitchen Restaurant Free to Continue Operating; Judge Rejects Plaintiff's $23 Million Damage Claim
By: Fitzgerald Knaier LLP, O's American Kitchen
Contact: Ken Fitzgerald (619) 241-4810
FITZGERALD KNAIER LLP SECURES TRIAL VICTORY
IN LONG-RUNNING PAT & OSCAR’S LITIGATION
The Honorable Judge Kevin Enright of the San Diego Superior Court yesterday issued a final Statement of Decision in the case of Pat & Oscar’s Concepts, Inc. v. Casual Food Group, et al., a lawsuit brought by the owner of the Pat & Oscar’s restaurant brand against a group of former Pat & Oscar’s franchisees, who converted their restaurants to O’s American Kitchen following the bankruptcy of Pat & Oscar’s. Although the plaintiff sought nearly $23 million in damages against the former franchisees, the court declined to award any actual damages to the plaintiff, and instead awarded a total of $100 in nominal damages.
The decision is a significant victory for the defendants, the owners of O’s American Kitchen restaurants, represented by Fitzgerald Knaier LLP. After a trial lasting over a month, the jury refused to find the defendants liable, and awarded no damages to either side on any of the claims or counterclaims. The jury deadlocked on the plaintiff’s claim for breach of contract, and the parties chose to have Judge Enright decide this remaining claim, rather than going through a second trial. In his final decision, the judge rejected the plaintiff’s contention that it had suffered nearly $23 million in lost profits, and he ruled in favor of the O’s American Kitchen owners on the plaintiff’s claim that they violated California’s Unfair Competition Law.
A representative of the O’s American Kitchen owners stated: “We are very pleased with the result, which ends years of litigation over our right to sell breadsticks, lemon and barbecue chicken, ribs, and other popular menu offerings. Following the bankruptcy of Pat & Oscar’s and the loss of our franchises, we worked very hard to improve our recipes, change our décor, add new menu items, and forge a new identity as O’s American Kitchen. With the judge’s decision, we are again able to focus on providing high quality hand-crafted menu items in a fast-casual format.”
Pat & Oscar’s was originally founded as “Oscar’s”
Lead attorney for Defendants, Ken Fitzgerald, stated: “This was a hard fought case in which the Plaintiff was represented by very skilled trial lawyers. The Sarkisians were claiming that assets they had paid $370,000 to acquire out of bankruptcy were essentially worth about $23 million, and they supported that claim with the opinion of a well-credentialed damages expert witness. We are grateful that the court rejected this claim, and we are pleased that our clients are now free from the burden of this overreaching litigation effort.”
A copy of Judge Enright’s decision can be found here: https://fitzgeraldknaier.files.wordpress.com/
Fitzgerald Knaier LLP is a law firm of highly experienced trial attorneys committed to aggressive, honest advocacy. It is a San Diego boutique litigation firm, focused exclusively on trying cases and handling controversies for its clients.