Suit involves principals from Wiscasset Village Antiques

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 9:45am

A fast-moving lawsuit is moving through Lincoln County Superior Court involving the two former principals of Wiscasset Village Antiques on Bath Road.

The suit was filed by former co-owner Richard Moore against co-owner Danny Lester Feb. 4.

According to the court documents, Moore formed a partnership with Lester called Wiscasset Village Antiques LLC. Each owned 50 percent, but Moore put in more money initially and was taking less out monthly, and Lester was responsible for the day-to-day running of the business, taking a larger salary as part of their agreement. Moore had also negotiated the sale of Avalon Antiques, which had been in the same building. He also set up all the books, the legal documents, the lease, the bank accounts, the credit card vendor, and put together the operating agreement. Moore arranged for the purchase of a truck for the business, using his own credit, with the agreement that the defendant would pay the monthly costs.

After a few years, they learned the owner of the building was not planning to renew their lease and planned to sell the building. Moore suggested they buy the building together, but Lester said he could not afford to. While Moore was considering buying the building himself, and possibly selling shares to Lester, he learned from the owner that an offer had been made, so Moore began looking for an alternative site, and was in the process of negotiating a lease when Lester informed him he had bought the building and was evicting Wiscasset Village Antiques.

With no lease and no partnership, Moore said he felt he had no choice but to sell his shares to Lester for the sum of $20,000, which was less than what he first put into the business. He alleged breach of fiduciary duty to a business partner, breach of contract, fraud, and negligence.

Lester first moved to have the suit dismissed by claiming Moore had no legal standing since he was no longer an owner of Wiscasset Village Antiques, then submitted an answer, still based on the theory Moore had no legal standing.

There have been numerous responses to date, but no legal opinion on any of the issues raised.

Calls to both parties and their legal counsels were not immediately returned. The case has not yet been heard and no date has been set for an initial hearing.