Aug. 12, 2003
KERRVILLE, Texas -- Years of legal battles between Mr. Gatti's Inc. and former franchisee Rick Barsness have resulted in a $1 million payment from Barsness.
According to San Antonio Express-News, the Kerrville-based pizza chain and Barsness, who had operated seven Mr. Gatti's outlets around Texas, sued each other in 1999 when Mr. Gatti's refused to approve his sale of the stores.
Barsness, who founded Springfield's Incredible Pizza Company last year in Springfield, Mo., said he was satisfied with the Aug. 11 settlement.
"I've got my freedom and it was worth the price," Barsness said.
Barsness claimed Mr. Gatti's illegally interfered with the sale of his Mr. Gatti's stores. He also claimed the 211-store company breached its contract and misused funds intended for advertising.
Mr. Gatti's accused Barsness of violating his franchise contract, improperly trying to sell his franchises and taking trade secrets.
In addition to Barsness' agreement to pay $1 million to Mr. Gatti's by Jan. 5, 2005, he also agreed to pay 1 percent of net sales from all his business operations for 10 years.
Barsness' Incredible pizzeria is a 42,000-square-foot entertainment center and pizza restaurant that includes bumper cars, go-carts and a miniature golf course. According to an Incredible manager quoted in the story, it draws 14,000 customers a week.
Mr. Gatti's has a similar entertainment and pizza concept called Gattiland.