Vendor at WVU football stadium blames relocation for lost business

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Dec 10, 2018

MORGANTOWN – A concession stand alleges its business suffered when it was relocated next to a competing stand in Milan Puskar Stadium.

Jersey Subs Inc. and Dana Papanicolas filed a complaint in Monongalia Circuit Court against Sodexo America LLC and Lara Bealko alleging tortious interference with contract and defamation of character.

According to the complaint, between 2002 and 2016, Jersey Subs Inc. subcontracted a concession stand at Milan Puskar Stadium through Sodexo America LLC.

In 2017, plaintiffs' business was relocated by defendant to another area of the building next to a Sodexo-operated concession stand that also sold Philly cheesesteaks and did not provide adequate equipment.

The plaintiffs allege the move caused consumer confusion and below-average sales.

The plaintiffs also allege that Bealko falsely accused Papanicolas in September 2017 of assisting and viewing a theft and defamed her character.

The plaintiffs hold Sodexo America LLC and Bealko responsible because the defendants allegedly interfered with plaintiff's business by not providing the plaintiff with adequate cooking equipment, adequate refrigeration and signage as it had done in the past and intentionally relocated it next to a competing concession stand.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment for compensatory and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney's fees, costs, expenses and such other and further relief as the court deems just and necessary. They are represented by Matthew P. Crimmel of Matthew P. Crimmel, Attorney at Law PLLC in Morgantown.

The defendants filed on Oct. 9 to remove the case to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia at Clarksburg.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia at Clarksburg case number 1:18-cv-00191-IMK

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