W. Michael Garner, P.A., Files Suit for Franchisee Alleging Wrongful Termination by Kumon Learning Centers

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A former franchisee of Kumon Learning Centers, headquartered in Teaneck, N.J., has filed suit, seeking half a million dollars in damages for Kumon’s wrongful termination of her franchise, and punitive damages in the millions for its intentional infliction of emotional distress. The case, Wachtel v. Kumon North America, No. 2:11-cv-05164, was filed in Federal District Court in Newark. A group of parents whose children attended the franchisee’s center have protested Kumon’s termination and sent a petition to Kumon.

A former franchisee of Kumon Learning Centers, headquartered in Teaneck, N.J., has filed suit, seeking half a million dollars in damages for Kumon’s wrongful termination of her franchise, and punitive damages in the millions for its intentional infliction of emotional distress. The case, Wachtel v. Kumon North America, No. 2:11-cv-05164, was filed in Federal District Court in Newark. A group of parents whose children attended the franchisee’s center have protested Kumon’s termination and sent a petition to Kumon.

Maria Wachtel, the franchisee, claims in the lawsuit that Kumon terminated her business in Newburgh, New York, on false pretenses. “Maria made the Kumon center successful where two prior franchisees had failed. She spent ten years building the center, and now Kumon is taking it away for its own advantage,” her lawyer, W. Michael Garner, said, summarizing the complaint. The lawsuit alleges that Kumon granted Wachtel a renewal franchise in November of last year, and less than six months later, summoned her to corporate headquarters in Teaneck to talk about future goals. Instead of discussing goals, the lawsuit alleges, Kumon put Wachtel in a room and a Kumon employee, Walter Bass, read to her from a prepared script. “You’ll be out in 60 days,” he said, and then ticked off a list of reasons for the termination. “They wouldn’t allow me to ask questions, to see the paper that he had, or to explain,” said Wachtel.

“The lawsuit alleges that there was no basis in the contract for them to terminate; Maria was an outstanding teacher and franchisee who cared deeply for her students,” Garner said.

Over 35 families signed a letter to Kumon’s headquarters. The letter, signed and circulated by Ninon O’Neill, one of the parents, praised Wachtel for her work with their children and implored Kumon to reconsider its decision, lest the closing be a “detriment to our children.”

For further information, contact W. Michael Garner, 612 259 4801

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W. Michael Garner
W. Michael Garner, P.A.
612-259-4800
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