St. Louis Record

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Kansas City dry cleaner, Missouri management firm among defendants sued by Massachusetts company in contract dispute


By Karen Kidd | Aug 23, 2018

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KANSAS CITY – A Kansas City dry cleaning company and a Missouri management company are among defendants being sued by a Massachusetts-based drying cleaning company over an industry territorial dispute.

North American Restoration Dry Cleaners LLC, based in Kansas City, is among defendants being sued by The Dry Cleaner By Val Inc., based in Woburn, Massachusetts, according to a 31-page complaint filed Aug. 15 in U.S. District Court for Missouri's Western District.

The Dry Cleaner By Val was founded in 1989 and operates throughout New England and in parts of New York, according to the complaint. The Dry Cleaner By Val also was an original member of North American Restoration Dry Cleaner (NARD) Management when that company was formed as a Missouri limited liability company in 2010.

"NARD was formed to create a network of elite commercial textile restoration businesses to promote the industry and to market the businesses of NARD’s members," the lawsuit said. "More particularly, NARD is a national consortium of businesses who specialize in textile restoration following catastrophic events such as fires or floods."

NARD's management allegedly violated contractual and fiduciary duties when it transferred some of The Dry Cleaner By Val's designated territories to another member, Fabric Renewal, and forced NARD members to pay for software for NARD.

Other named defendants in the case are Valley De Luxe Cleaners & Interiors Inc., doing business as Fabric Renewal, based in Bloomingdale, New Jersey; and current and former members of NARD's Management and NARD Management principals Michael Hoelzel of Livonia, Michigan; Manuel Vendelis of Fallston, Maryland; James Fenyohazi of New York and David Fenyohazi of Morristown, New Jersey.

The amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs. The Dry Cleaner By Val is asking for an order and judgment for damages, injunctive, declarative, and equitable relief and other relief as the court may feel just and proper. A jury trial is demanded.

The case was filed on behalf of The Dry Cleaner By Val by attorney Matthew W. Geary, shareholder and director in the Kansas City law firm Dysart, Taylor, Cotter, McMonigle & Montemore, with pro hac vice petition forthcoming from attorney David Hansen with the Boston law firm Berluti, McLaughlin & Kutchin. 

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri case number 4:18-cv-00633-SRB

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Missouri Court of Appeals Western District