Starcatcher Attorneys Strike Back at BrightStar's Motion
Attorneys for Starcatcher Healthcare asked the court to deny the defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit against BrightStar Franchising and its CEO, Shelly Sun.
Starcatcher, a BrightStar franchisee in North Glendale, Arizona, is suing BrightStar over a proprietary software system designed to handle the logistics of operating a skilled healthcare business.
Skilled care commands higher rates than non-skilled care, which makes up the majority of BrightStar’s business, but is also more complicated and regulated. Steve Evans and Candice Brainard, who operate Starcatcher, told Franchise Times reporter Julie Bennett they wanted to provide the higher-level care, which led them to buy the franchise.
Brightstar owners claim the software platform does not work as advertised, and that BrightStar, “far from being an expert” in skilled care, “did not even recognize the special requirements of operating a skilled care business.” Evans and Brainard purchased the franchise in April 2010.
BrightStar attorneys filed a motion to dismiss, claiming Starcatcher is not protected by the Illinois franchise law nor the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act cited in the complaint, and that deadlines to file complaints under those laws had long expired.
But the plaintiffs’ attorneys, led by J. Michael Dady with Dady & Gardner in Minneapolis, say the motion to dismiss should be denied because “the complaint contains viable legal claims applicable to the facts of this case,” among other reasons.
The motion was filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix in mid-December, after the story detailing the lawsuit went to press. It’s in the January issue of Franchise Times.