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Friedman's will appeal, stores will wait

October 13, 2018 Digital Media Exclusive

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The Friedman's at the Greater Butler Mart.

The owner of Friedman's Freshmarkets will appeal the decision of federal Judge Arthur Schwab, who recently ruled in favor of the local grocery chain's distributor, Merchants Distributors Inc. of North Carolina.

While attorneys are waiting for Schwab to rule on a final judgment in a few weeks regarding monetary damages awarded to MDI by Friedman's, the former grocery story's attorney David Fuchs said Friedman's owner Carole Friedman Bitter will not back down.

“Obviously we're disappointed, but we feel there are meritorious issues to raise before the Third Circuit Court, so we are going to raise those issues and get (the decision) reversed,” Fuchs said.

Friedman's signed a contract in October 2016 with MDI after having used the company for food distribution for several months.

The contract included a $470,000 loan so Friedman's could buy products from MDI for their store shelves. It also included a $1.7 million loan.

MDI claimed breach of contract when Friedman's failed to pay on the loans, but Friedman's attorneys argued that MDI destroyed its business by failing to do a proper reset of the store when they became the Friedman's distributor, as they say is the industry standard.

In a deposition of Bitter, she claimed the actions of MDI destroyed the 114-year-old business.

“Within a couple years of MDI being (Friedman's) supplier, we're out of business,” Fuchs said on Thursday.

Find out who owns the stores in Sunday's Butler Eagle.

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