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David vs. Goliath: Hartford pharmacy claims it was duped by big business

Reagan Pharmacy claims it entered into a contract with Fred’s Stores to sell the pharmacy but Fred’s backed out
A lawsuit has been filed in federal court by a long standing Hartford pharmacy that claims a large discount department store chain reneged on a deal to purchase the business. Reagan Pharmacy claims it entered into a contract with Fred’s Stores of Tennessee on February 22, 2013 to sell the pharmacy but Fred’s backed out when it learned a competing pharmacy would locate nearby.

Court documents allege that when Fred’s representative Wes Maddox learned of the new pharmacy he told Reagan employees he’d return after lunch but failed to do so. The next day Fred’s informed Reagan’s “the deal is off.” The lawsuit claims Maddox is Fred’s Healthcare Manager of Alabama and had been handling the potential purchase of Reagan Pharmacy.

When the deal fell through Maddox was allegedly in Hartford to introduce Reagan employees to Fred’s and handle matters related to transferring their employment to the retail chain. He was planning to conduct background checks and arrange drug screens for employees when told of the new pharmacy. After learning Dalton’s Pharmacy would locate across the street Maddox phoned a supervisor and was told not to return to Reagan Pharmacy, the court filings states. Dalton’s Facebook page shows it opened its Hartford location April 29.

In its legal response to the lawsuit, Fred’s admits taking part in the drafting of the Sale and Purchase Agreement and forwarding the draft to Reagan’s. Fred's admits Reagan Pharmacy owners signed and returned the document but denies it ever executed the agreement.

Reagan’s is seeking $800,000 in compensatory damages plus unspecified punitive and additional compensatory damages alleging breach of contract.

The lawsuit was filed first in Geneva County Circuit Court in October. It was then filed in the U.S. Courts Middle District of Alabama November 20.

Ken Curtis is the chief investigative correspondent for WDHN.  If you have a news tip you may submit in confidence to ken@wdhn.com

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