The Virginia Gazette has reported on a $1 Million noncompete lawsuit recently filed in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Victor Minichiello of Sal’s By Victor is suing La Scala restaurant, where he temporarily operated while his business at Williamsburg Shopping Center was rebuilt. Minichiello’s lease was with Hassem and Georgia Salih as operators of La Scala, and Angelo Mageras as owner of the La Scala property on Richmond Road. The lease contained a “do not compete” clause that barred any Italian restaurant there within six months of Minichiello re-opening at the shopping center. The suit alleges the Salihs were so impressed with the success of Sal’s that they set out to emulate it as Scala’s Restaurant and Pizza. Minichiello is alleging breach of contract against the Salihs.
The Salihs now say they will change the nature of their restaurant in order to comply with the noncompete language in the lease. The most telling piece in the article is the following comment from Mrs. Salih:
“We made a mistake by not going to a lawyer to try to do this, we tried to do it as friends.”
My Take: Legal documents have important and legal implications for individuals and business owners. Do not sign these documents without a legal review!