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Who is driving Chef Driven?

Imagine creating something brand new. As it grows, you realize you need help keeping up so you bring in outside experts. You sign a contract with those experts and your creation continues to grow.

Then those experts take over, ousting you and saying they own the rights. That is what Denver chef Frank Bonanno says happened with his Chef Driven PBS show. Bonanno filed a federal lawsuit last year alleging that Left of Frame production company stole his show. The producers claim the original contract also gave them those rights.

Dispute resolution

As with most business disputes, it starts with the contract. Bonanno says it is breach of contract. Left of Frame says it is all in the paperwork: signed and previously agreed upon. Generally, when a contract dispute arises, both parties will discuss matters looking for common ground. If they cannot find an agreeable solution, they file a lawsuit to determine who is in violation.

Not all breach cases go to court. Often, a third party mediation or arbitrator will decide the. These options tend to be faster and less expensive than court.

If a lawsuit does go to court, parties are likely to seek more than a declaration of who is at fault. Lawsuits are not only about pride, they are about business. The wronged party is likely to receive compensation for damages plus restitution on contract terms. In Bonanno’s lawsuit, restitution includes production costs he paid out of pocket expecting reimbursement from Left of Frame.

Disputes can lead to demise

The fate of Chef Driven remains unknown. Whether a breach of contract, fraud or a misunderstanding, the lawsuit shows how vulnerable any business is, including a successful and growing enterprise. A dispute can shut down operations and change the outlook of a business overnight, which is why experienced legal counsel is vital for any business decision.

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