BUTLER COUNTY: Friedmans loses lawsuit, no new opens. Saxonburg store can not open now

Federal Judge Arthur Schwab ruled this week in favor of wholesale grocery store distributor Merchants Distributors and against Friedman’s Freshmarkets.

The suit was filed by Merchants and claimed Friedman’s borrowed more than $2 million to stock its stores and did not pay it back.

Friedman’s had then counter-sued and claimed the distributors’ business practices ended up destroying their company. The judge also ruled against that.

It was one year ago that Friedman’s closed its downtown Butler location after more than 100 years. The company has since closed all of its remaining locations throughout the county. The store in Saxonburg was to open soon, but now all of those plans are to be put on hold. And that small town is still left without a grocery store.

Schwab’s ruling includes a mandate for MDI to submit a proposal for the amount or collateral to be paid by Friedman’s after consulting with Friedman’s attorneys.

It appears that Friedman’s CEO Carole Bitter will not appeal the case to a higher court, as Friedman’s attorneys will consult with MDI attorneys regarding the judgment proposal due on Friday.

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