Pennsylvania Record

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Pittsburgh dentist claims agreement breached by sign-maker, marketer and financier

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jan 22, 2018

PITTSBURGH – Litigation recently filed in state court alleges a local marketer, California sign-making firm and Philadelphia financing agency breached its business sale agreement with a Pittsburgh dentist.

Frederick D. Sams of Pittsburgh filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Jan. 9 versus Buddy Swisshelm of Swiss Eagle Marketing of Murrysville, Signtronix, Inc. of Torrance, Calif. and Marlin Business Services Corp., of Philadelphia.

The suit says on July 8, 2016, Sams entered into agreement with Swiss Eagle to provide a lexan-lighted sign for his dental practice, at a cost of $22,495 – for which Sams put down a $5,000 deposit.

At about the same time, defendant Signtronix claims it submitted a merchant agreement for the sign to the plaintiff, which the plaintiff denies signing, that listed Swisshelm and Sams as parties to the agreement. Swisshelm/Swiss Eagle informed Sams he was mandated to obtain financing for the sign through defendant Marlin, per an equipment lease contract provided to him.

According to the terms of that lease contract, it was to last for a duration of 5 years (60 months), with a monthly payment of $497.03 due, the suit says. But to date, the suit claims the defendants never delivered the sign to Sams.

Sams made all monthly payments until September of last year, when he says the agreement was breached. Though Sams has received his $5,000 deposit back, he has not been reimbursed for the amounts he later paid under the lease contract and believes the defendants acted in concert to defraud him, the suit says.

For counts of fraud in the inducement of a contract and civil conspiracy (or in the alternative, breach of contract and unjust enrichment), the plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of the compulsory arbitration limits, but not limited to, compensatory future damages, punitive damages and any other such relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

The plaintiffs are represented by Brad N. Sommer and Alexander F. Guminski of Sommer Law Group, in Pittsburgh.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-18-000344

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County