Phil and Claire Gallo have filed a lawsuit against Joe Zmaila and Kathleen Zmaila, alleging breach of contract and conversion.
The parties entered into a contract to develop a Jani-King franchise, in which each party was to own fifty percent of the cleaning business and have specific duties.
The Gallo party was to manage the day-to-day operations, while the Zmailas were to oversee the partnership's finances.
In a lawsuit filed Aug. 29 in St. Clair County Court, the Gallos claim that the Zmailas failed to follow through on their end of the bargain, forcing losses to the Gallos in excess of $50,000.
The defendants allegedly broke the fiduciary duties of the partnership by usurping the partnership's funds and by failing to make required employee withholding payments to government entities.
"Due to defendants' conduct it is not otherwise reasonably practicable to carry on the partnership business in conformity with the partnership agreement," the complaint says, requesting judicial dissolution of the partnership.
The Gallos live in Belleview, while the Zmailas live in Lake Ozark, Mo. Their business activities were conducted solely in St. Clair County, court papers indicate.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorney James Hacking of the Hacking Law Practice in St. Louis, Mo.
They are suing for actual and punitive damages as well as court costs and attorney fees.