Dreams Gone Awry: Clients of a Food-Truck Builder Say They’ve Spent Tens of Thousands of Dollars for Vehicles That Had Serious Problems or Were Never Delivered
Blank Rome Partners Jonathan Scott Goldman and Charles S. Marion and Associate Naomi Zwillenberg are representing Rebecca Foxman, owner of Fox & Son, a Philadelphia small business and an award-winning restaurant, in a lawsuit against Gary Koppelman and his company, Industrial Food Truck LLC, asserting claims for breach of contract and fraud. More than a year and a half after Foxman paid Koppelman nearly $74,000 to purchase, convert, and customize a food truck for Fox & Son’s business, the truck remains undrivable and unfinished, leaving Foxman with monthly payments for the truck as well as canceled catering contracts that cannot be performed without the truck. The lawsuit filed by Blank Rome seeks to recover these losses and obtain other relief for Fox & Son. More than two dozen other food operators, some of which are also represented by Blank Rome, had similar dealings with Koppelman.
To learn more about Foxman’s case as well as the experiences of other food truck clients that were defrauded, please read Dreams Gone Awry: Clients of a Food-Truck Builder Say They’ve Spent Tens of Thousands of Dollars for Vehicles That Had Serious Problems or Were Never Delivered (The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 8, 2021). An excerpt of the article is shared below.
Rebecca Foxman recently received a catering request most food truck owners would relish. A customer who loves the gluten-free offerings at her fancy corn dog stand in the Reading Terminal Market wanted to hire her for a wedding.
But Foxman had to turn down the request, just as she has passed on other big paydays for catering jobs despite paying almost $74,000 to buy a food truck in early 2019.
Foxman is realistic in her expectations of payback but pushes forward. Her lawyer, Naomi Zwillenberg of Blank Rome, is working the case for free.
“For a lot of people I’ve spoken to, this was going to be their first business. They put their entire savings into this, and it destroyed their lives,” says Foxman. “I don’t think there’s any hope that any of us will get money back, but I want this to not keep happening to other restaurant owners and entrepreneurs.”
Meanwhile, Rebecca Foxman and her lawyers hope their civil lawsuit will hold Koppelman accountable.
“It has taken years and years for the legal system to catch up with this guy and it still hasn’t,” says Jonathan Scott Goldman, a Blank Rome partner leading the case who previously worked at the Attorney General’s Office under Shapiro.
For Foxman, who is now unsure whether she’ll finish that truck, no matter the outcome of her case, it’s a matter of closure and doing what’s right.
“I would have made a lot of money on those corn dogs [in this truck], especially during a pandemic,” she says.” And I feel so taken. But I don’t want revenge. I’m hoping there’s something we can do to protect people from this in the future.”
To read the full article, please click here.
“Dreams Gone Awry: Clients of a Food-Truck Builder Say They’ve Spent Tens of Thousands of Dollars for Vehicles That Had Serious Problems or Were Never Delivered,” by Craig LaBan was published in The Philadelphia Inquirer on August 8, 2021.