Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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Jack in the Box embroiled in breach of contract case

Louisiana contracts often define business relationships. They can lay out expectations and obligations, and they can be negotiated to ensure that all parties involved feel like they got a fair shake. However, since the parties to a contract sign off on his terms, those who fail to abide by those terms can be held liable for their actions or in actions. This often takes the shape of a business lawsuit and a judgment requiring a party to pay damages. Not even big corporations are immune from contract disputes.

Just look at a claim recently filed against the fast food restaurant Jack in the Box. There, an association of franchisees filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the restaurant chain. More specifically, the association, which represents the owners of almost 1,900 of the approximately 2,200 restaurants, claims that the corporation failed to provide franchisees with important documentation detailing the income and expenses of the corporation's marketing fund. An audit of this fund memorialized in contract as part of a 1999 settlement that arose after the association took action against the restaurant.

But, this is not the only issue spurring this dispute on. The association also claims that Jack in the Box has cut expenditures to the point that it is harming franchisees. They point to the restaurant's handling of roof repairs. Apparently Jack in the Box mandated roof repairs at several franchises, promising to pay for those expenses. Once those repairs were undertaken though, according to the association, Jack in the Box re-categorized the expenses, thereby thrusting the costs back onto franchisees.

Contract disputes have very real and significant ramifications. While money is certainly at stake, so too are a business's reputation and good will. A poorly drafted contracted or an improperly handled contract dispute may lead to lost profits and consumer bases. This is why it is imperative that those who are facing contract issues consider seeking aggressive legal advocates who can assist them as needed.

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Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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