Precision Auto Care, Inc. Seeks to Overturn Verdict
25 March 2000
LEESBURG, Va. - Precision Auto Care, Inc. today announced that it intends to request a new trial and, if necessary, file an appeal in a lawsuit involving a franchisee in Broward County, Florida. The Company said that a jury in the Broward County Circuit Court case recently returned a verdict against the Company in the amount of approximately $850,000. The case was filed in the Florida State court by a franchisee shortly after the Company issued a notice that it intended to terminate his franchise. In his lawsuit, the franchisee sought an injunction to prevent his franchise from being terminated and alleged additional claims including breach of contract, tortious interference with business relationships, and slander. The Company had filed counter claims against the franchisee and had asserted various defenses to the franchisee's claims, but an earlier court order barred the Company from presenting those claims and defenses at trial. As a result, the jury was only permitted to consider evidence relating to the franchisee's alleged damages, and was not presented with the complete evidence respecting the franchisee's claims or any evidence relating to the Company's claims or defenses. The Company believes that it has ample grounds for seeking appellate remedies which, if granted, would result in a new trial in which all of the relevant claims and evidence would be presented. Precision Auto Care, Inc. is the world's largest franchisor of auto care centers, with 630 operating centers as of March 24, 2000. The Company franchises and operates Precision Tune Auto Care, Precision Auto Wash, and Precision Lube Express centers around the world, and offers a vertically integrated organization with manufacturing and distribution subsidiaries.