The New Orleans Saints’ Jonathan Vilma is part owner of a barbecue restaurant chain called Brother Jimmy’s. Until recently there was a Brother Jimmy’s in Marlins Park in Miami. Now there isn’t and the Marlins and Vilma’s restaurant have filed lawsuits at one another.
The upshot: the Marlins say that Brother Jimmy’s never paid a $75,000 sponsorship fee it owed the team to be in the ballpark. Brother Jimmy’s claims no agreement was ever reached and, even if one was, the Marlins and their concession operator totally botched the operation of the franchise by making bad food and providing crappy service, which hurts the Brother Jimmy’s brand. And then there’s this:
Brother Jimmy’s and Vilma also claim the Marlins made promises that attendance for the new ballpark would average 28,000 per game for the 2012 season, a mark that wasn’t hit. “They unfortunately sold us a dream, the attendance wasn’t what they were marketing to us, it was probably a fraction of that,” Vilma said.
No idea who is right and who is wrong here, legally speaking, but I would advise Vilma and his business to push for a jury trial in Miami. No Dade County jury is gonna give the Marlins the benefit of the doubt.