Category Archives: Lawsuits

TJ’s Burger House owner John Abdayem wants to erase confusion over restaurant

UPDATED — It’s been more than nine months since TJ’s Burger House owner John Abdayem has been gone from his east-side TJ’s, but customers are still confused about his role there, especially now that the restaurant has closed.

Abdayem wants to be clear about a couple of things. Most importantly, he says, his Delano TJ’s remains open.

The former TJ’s that was on the east side at Harry and Webb recently closed, but it’s been since May that Abdayem was there. The circumstances surrounding his departure are in dispute.

Abdayem says he hadn’t planned on leaving but that his landlord, Homer Morgan, unexpectedly locked him out. Morgan’s attorney, Ed Robinson, says Abdayem broke his lease and left owing Morgan about $32,000.

“What actually happened is entirely different than what he’s describing,” Robinson says.

He says Morgan sued Abdayem in Sedgwick County District Court, and Abdayem has brought a counterclaim.

Abdayem says that until a week ago when it closed, the restaurant continued to operate as Burger House, which he says led some people to think he was still there.

Regardless of the legal situation and its outcome, Abdayem says he continues to get questions from customers and wants everyone to understand the situation and that it’s not related to his Delano restaurant.

Cafe Bel Ami resolves its lawsuit over parking at the O’Rourke Title Building

UPDATED — Cafe Bel Ami’s parking situation at the O’Rourke Title Building finally is resolved, although so far no one is sharing details.

Restaurant owner Nabil Bacha filed a lawsuit against his landlord at the building at 229 E. William after reserved signs were placed on certain parking spots that he says his customers have a right to use.

Through an e-mail, Simon Palmer Properties says there’s now “an amicable resolution,” although president Troy Palmer won’t elaborate on it.

Bacha didn’t return calls for comment, but his attorney, Harry Najim, says, “It is a fair and equitable resolution of the lawsuit.”

The Simon Palmer e-mail regarding the resolution says: “The building owners are pleased to have one of Wichita’s Finest Downtown Restaurant as a long-term tenant.”

Cafe Bel Ami owner sues landlord and property manager over parking

WICHITA — The owner of Cafe Bel Ami is in a parking dispute with his landlord and the company that manages the O’Rourke Title Building at 229 E. William, where the downtown restaurant is located.

Nabil Bacha filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court after reserved signs were placed on certain parking spots that he says his customers have a right to use.

Harry Najim, Bacha’s lawyer, says his client has nonexclusive use of the entire parking lot during certain hours and that reserved signs hinder that.

He says customers “don’t want to go in the restaurant and come back and find their car gone.”

Troy Palmer, president of Simon Palmer Properties, says he can’t discuss the dispute much beyond saying that there is one.

“We really hope to have it resolved before Friday,” he says. “We’re still kind of negotiating.”

There’s a temporary restraining order that forced Palmer to remove the reserved signs for now. A hearing is set for Friday.

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Terradyne Country Club and residential partners in lawsuit over financial dispute

UPDATED — The partners in Terradyne Country Club and Terradyne Residential are in a financial dispute that has led to a lawsuit against one another.

CS Ventures, which is Craig and Christy Smith, and Terradyne Residential have filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court against partners Jerry Slack, Earle Evans and Wichita-based BGS Cos.

“It’s just that some of the partners … have not paid their part of the cash calls,” Craig Smith says. “We’ve been patiently waiting and waiting.”

Evans says he and Slack have paid.

“We feel like we’re not getting full credit on it for what we did,” he says.

Evans says the first he heard of the suit is when a reporter told him about it.

“I’m amazed because I talked to Craig Smith … yesterday. He never said anything,” Evans says.

“That can’t be true because he’s signed receipt of it,” Smith says.

Regardless, Evans says he’s not pleased.

“There probably will be some repercussions on that.”

Meaning a possible countersuit?

“Could be. I don’t know.”

A 10-person partnership formed in 2006 to buy Terradyne out of bankruptcy, and Smith and his lawyer, Harvey Sorensen, say initially it did well.

“They had a positive cash flow excluding capital expenditures,” Sorensen says.

“They invested a lot of money in redeveloping the course and redeveloping the clubhouse and getting the residential development ready to go, and then the world collapsed.”

He says, “There are several people who wanted to ride the elevator up but wanted to get off when it started to go down.”

During the difficult times, Sorensen says the club and residential development’s losses were funded through only about half of the owners.

“We have started a campaign to remind the noncontributing members of their obligations. We expect to be in contact with several prominent members of the community who have not paid their fair share.”

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Property owners file lawsuit against Casey Bachrodt claiming mismanagement and breach of fiduciary responsibility

WICHITA — Various entities, all partially owned by Summit Holdings LLC, have filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court against developer Casey Bachrodt.

Summit’s five shareholders also own Key Construction.

The suit claims Bachrodt mismanaged six properties in which he also was an owner.

“We feel like he didn’t fulfill his fiduciary responsibility,” says John Walker, Summit administrator and member.

Bachrodt didn’t return calls for comment.

The relationship between Bachrodt and Summit goes back at least a decade.

Starting in October, Summit began removing Bachrodt from managing its properties, including two strip centers in Andover, one in Emporia, one in Texas and two office buildings on and near Rock Road in Wichita.

Walker says Bachrodt didn’t market the properties properly or do a good job keeping tenants or being responsive to them.

“It’s been an ongoing problem, and we weren’t able to control it and get all the details we needed until we took (the properties) over,” Walker says.

Builders Inc. now manages the properties, which Walker says “has been a very good move for us.”

 

 

BRIC Development sues Yellowbook over rent

WICHITA — BRIC Development, the group that owned the former Feist Publications building near K-96 and Webb until December, is suing former tenant Yellowbook.

“It’s just a failure to pay rent,” says Eric Metz, BRIC’s attorney.

Metz says in 2001, Feist signed a lease with BRIC, which built the building for the company. In 2004, Yellowbook acquired Feist and eventually took over the lease.

“Basically, there’s unpaid rent for approximately 16 months,” Metz says.

No one with Yellowbook could immediately be reached for comment.

This isn’t the first time BRIC sued Yellowbook. In 2007, BRIC filed a lawsuit over what it claimed was Yellowbook’s failure to pay almost $200,000 in property taxes, which the group said was holding up refinancing of its loan on the property.

Yellowbook also faced a lawsuit from Feist in 2009 for what Feist claimed was a violation of the purchase agreement that set a five-year period allowing Yellowbook to use the Feist name.

Steven brothers and VinZant settle lawsuit over Mike’s Wine Dive

UPDATED — Brad and Brent Steven are now the sole owners of Mike’s Wine Dive.

Earlier this month, Have You Heard? reported that the brothers sued longtime friend and Mike’s co-founder Whitney VinZant and several other people associated with the almost 2-year-old business near Douglas and Oliver.

“We all agree that the restaurant doesn’t work with all these cooks in the kitchen, so to speak, so we need to part ways,” Brad Steven said at the time. “Either he takes full ownership or we take full ownership, and the lawsuit is to figure that out.”

The parties reached an agreement today.

“We’ve resolved it amicably,” says Joe Cassell, the Stevens’ lawyer and stepfather.

There were differences in how the brothers and VinZant wanted to run the College Hill restaurant, and there were disputes over who owned how much of the business.

The brothers have been gone from the restaurant for several weeks but are now back.

“We’re taking over the company,” Cassell says. “One hundred percent of it.”

 

Family members dispute stake in H.J. Born Stone through lawsuit

WICHITA — One of Wichita’s most established stone companies is the source of a family dispute that’s resulted in a lawsuit.

At issue is ownership of H. J. Born Stone. According to the company’s website, the business has been in the same family since 1949.

Betty Born filed the lawsuit as a trustee of her late husband John Born Jr.’s revocable trust. The suit, filed in Sedgwick County District Court, seeks a temporary and permanent injunction and restraining order against Sharon Born, daughter of H.J. Born and cousin of John Born.

According to the lawsuit, Sharon Born agreed to sell an interest in H.J. Born Stone to John Born in 2010. John Born was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and, the suit says, the plaintiffs notified Sharon Born of the illness and assured her that if anything should happen to John Born, his life insurance would guarantee payments of promissory notes to her.

John Born died Sept. 8. The suit says his widow contacted Sharon Born less than two weeks later to offer payment on the notes, but Sharon Born rejected her attempts because she was too busy with her family’s own estate.

According to the suit, on Sept. 21 Sharon Born used her attorney to deliver notice to Betty Born that she demanded the entire balance of the promissory notes and declared default because of John Born’s death.

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Eustaquio Abay II files a lawsuit against Abay Neuroscience Center, the practice he founded and named for his parents

Eustaquio Abay II in a 2008 file photo.

UPDATED — Physician Eustaquio Abay II has filed a lawsuit against Abay Neuroscience Center, the practice he founded in 1986 and renamed in 1996 in honor of his parents.

“Dr. Abay built the practice, but the other members forced him out by reducing his compensation wrongfully,” says Abay’s attorney, Jay Fowler of Foulston Siefkin.

“The practical effect is the other physicians made a lot more money, and Dr. Abay made next to nothing.”

Abay, who filed his lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court last week, left the practice to start a new one in June.

“We did not force him out of the practice,” says Jeff Spahn, a Martin Pringle attorney representing the remaining partners at Abay Neuroscience Center.

“That was his decision to leave the practice.”

Spahn says Abay was paid what he was owed.

“I don’t know what Jay’s definition of nothing is, but he was paid a significant amount of money, and Jay knows better than that,” Spahn says. “At least I would regard it as a significant amount of money.”

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Law firm files suit against Complete Landscaping citing breach of contract

WICHITA — In a lawsuit filed last week, a Texas law firm claims Wichita’s Complete Landscaping has failed to pay more than $143,000 that it last month signed a consent agreement to pay.

Loewinsohn Flegle Deary filed the lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court.

According to the suit, Complete Landscaping hired the firm in 2009 to represent it in another lawsuit, which “was successfully settled in approximately October 2010.”

An exhibit in the current lawsuit shows that Complete Landscaping president Laura McMurray signed a consent agreement on Sept. 9 to pay $143,251.45, which is the balance for the law firm’s services.

The lawsuit says Complete Landscaping also owes $1,574.19 in interest.

McMurray and her in-house legal counsel declined comment.

No one with Loewinsohn Flegle Deary returned a call for comment.