Dallas Jury Returns $30.7 Million Verdict Against Restaurant Franchise Owner

Burns Charest team secures win after 8-day jury trial

DALLAS — A Dallas County jury has awarded $30.7 million in damages to a local man who claimed he had been defrauded after he did not receive a share of operating profits from the owner of roughly 150 Popeyes franchise restaurants in Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida.

The jury initially returned a verdict of $15,618,873.47 in compensatory damages against Dallas-based Sun Holdings Inc., owner Guillermo Perales, and various subsidiaries. After a bifurcated trial, the jury returned another verdict of $15,100,000.00 in punitive damages.

Jerry S. Stockton alleged that Perales and his entities failed to honor a promise by Perales that, for his service as the “Key Operator” for Perales’ Popeyes-branded restaurants, Stockton would receive 5% of the annual operating profits of those restaurants. The collective portfolio of restaurants that Sun supports makes up the second-largest franchisee organization in the U.S. according to published reports.

According to the lawsuit, originally filed in 2019, Stockton was encouraged to delay taking his share of operating profits until his retirement, which occurred in 2018. When the time came to honor the promise, Perales allegedly denied Stockton’s request for compensation on multiple occasions.

“The great thing about our court system is that, rich or poor, we are all equal before the law,” says Daniel Charest of Burns Charest LLP, who represented Stockton at trial. “The jury correctly concluded that Mr. Stockton had been defrauded by Mr. Perales and the other defendants. The whole Burns Charest team is thrilled to be able to help Scott get justice.”

The remainder of the trial team included Burns Charest attorneys Spencer Cox, Larry Vincent and Chase Hilton.

In addition to Popeyes, Sun Holdings’ management portfolio includes roughly 1,800 Applebee’s, Arby’s, Burger King, Golden Corral, IHOP, McAlister’s, Papa John’s and Taco Bueno locations in 12 states.

The lawsuit is Jerry S. Stockton v. Sun Holdings, Inc., et al., Cause No. CC-19-02768-D, in the Dallas County Court at Law No. 4.

To learn more about Burns Charest LLP, visit www.burnscharest.com.


Media Contact:
BeLynn Hollers

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