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WTO Defends Colorado Coffee Franchisor Against Breach-of-Contract and Fraud Claims

Date: 01.06.09

DENVER:  Ten specialty coffee franchisees filed suit in Colorado state court alleging a variety of fraud-in-the-inducement and breach-of-contract claims against Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell's clients, including the franchisor, its parent company, and the franchisor's CEO and vice president of franchise operations.  The franchisees sought tens of millions of dollars in actual and punitive damages.  The franchisees later added aiding and abetting and conspiracy claims against the franchisor's former attorneys who had prepared the franchise offering documents.  After WTO lawyers had successfully defended a challenge to their client's attorney-client privilege with its former attorneys, the case proceeded to a bench trial that lasted five weeks stretched over a four-month period.  The court found in favor of WTO's clients on all claims.  The court also awarded the defendants a judgment for their counterclaims for breach of contract, plus attorneys' fees and costs.

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