Cold Stone franchisees left company in the cold, suit claims

By Jon Campisi | Aug 6, 2011

Cold Stone Creamery, the Arizona-based ice cream company that operates stores throughout the region, is suing a couple from Harleysville, Pa. who ran, as franchisees, a Cold Stone location in nearby Lansdale, alleging the couple abandoned the store, leaving outstanding rent.

Attorneys for Cold Stone Creamery, Inc. filed the civil action Aug. 4 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Named as defendants are Richard and Lisa Golden of Montgomery County, Pa.

According to the complaint, the Goldens entered into a franchise agreement with the company back in December 2004 to open up a Cold Stone location in Lansdale, Pa.

In October 2005, Cold Stone entered into a rental lease agreement with Pineville Lansdale Associates, L.P., and subsequently entered into a sublease agreement with the Goldens under which the couple would pay Cold Stone, and Cold Stone would pay Pineville.

In mid December 2009, the Goldens allegedly ceased operating their Cold Stone franchise, abandoning the property and ending their rent payments to Cold Stone, according to the lawsuit.

As a result of the action, Pineville then raised its rent to Cold Stone, the lawsuit states, with the accelerated overdue rent now totaling $85,000, the suit claims.

“Despite due demand, the Defendants have failed to pay Cold Stone the monies owed Pineville under the lease agreement, which remains due and owing by the Defendants pursuant to the sublease agreement,” the lawsuit states.

Through the lawsuit, which alleges breach of contract, Cold Stone seeks to recoup the $85,000 it claims it is owed by the Goldens in addition to attorney’s fees and other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-05018-RB.

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