Lab Test Franchisees Open New Business; Franchisor Concedes Non-Compete Can’t be Enforced, says Franchise Lawyer W. Michael Garner
Two former Miami franchisees of “Any Lab Test Now” have successfully challenged the post-termination covenants not to compete in their franchise agreements, and have left the Any Lab Test system to open Unilab Express, according to Jason Baumann, President of Unilab
Miami, FL (PRWEB) June 29, 2011
Two former franchisees of “Any Lab Test Now” have successfully challenged the post-termination covenants not to compete in their franchise agreements, and have left the Any Lab Test system, according to the franchisees, Jason Baumann and Orlando Fernandez.
Baumann and Fernandez, formerly franchisees of Any Test Franchising of Atlanta, Georgia, a franchisor of walk-in laboratory services, have now opened business under their own flag known as “Unilab Express.” Baumann commented, “We hope to better serve the Miami public with a broader range of services, the availability of a physician, and better compliance with Florida’s strict patient privacy rules.”
Last week, Baumann and Fernandez wrote to the franchisor, announcing that they were leaving the system and pointing out that the franchise agreement’s covenant not to compete, which would otherwise have put them out of business, was not enforceable under Georgia law.
Joe Neely, President of Any Test Franchising, Inc., wrote back to both of the franchisees agreeing with their letters and accepting the terminations.
“The non-competes are fatally flawed under Georgia law,” said W. Michael Garner, attorney for the franchisees. “The Supreme Court of Georgia has held that provisions containing exactly the same language were unenforceable. The franchisor was smart to do this and avoid a legal fight that would have resulted in a legal precedent.” Baumann and Fernandez had raised their allegations that the non-compete was invalid in a lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Baumann et al v. Any Test Franchising, Inc. case no. 11-18661 CA 15.
Baumann and Fernandez, together with several other franchisees, are also suing the founder and owner of Any Test Franchising, David Lageschulte, of Fort Myers, for alleged fraud and misrepresentation made in connection with the sale to them of their Any Lab Test franchises. “We are pleased to have been able to sever our relationship with this franchisor.” Fernandez said. The case, Baumann et al. v. Lageschulte, No. 11-19072 CA 05, is pending in the Circuit Court of Miami-Dade County.
Walk-in laboratory facilities are becoming highly popular because of their convenience and low cost. A drug test, for example, can be obtained at Unilab Express for $39.
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