Jonathan Vilma's BBQ Joint in Legal Battle with Miami Marlins
In this corner we have Jonathan Vilma, current New Orleans Saint and former Miami Hurricane. In the other we have the Miami Marlins.
No, Vilma is not taking on the entire team in a game of 9-on-1 baseball (though, he might actually win). Vilma's barbecue restaurant, Brother Jimmy's, is in a legal battle with the Marlins.
Vilma co-owns Brother Jimmy's with fellow NFL players and UM alums Jon Beason and DJ Williams. The restaurant has a small chain of locations, including one in Brickell.
According to NBC Miami, the restaurant had agreed with the Miami Marlins to license out their name and recipes to sell at a food stand inside Marlins Park. Vilma says he grew upset when his staff tasted the food being served in the Park under their name and found it not up to standard.
The Marlins however claim that Brother Jimmy's had a sponsorship agreement and failed to pay their fees for 2012 and didn't give enough notice to pull out of the agreement in time for the 2013 season.
Brother Jimmy's says no such agreement exists. The restaurant says they had paid $25,000 in good faith, but never came to a final agreement on the sponsorship deal. The restaurant also claimed that attendance estimates they were provided with were way off the mark.
Both parties have now filed dueling lawsuits.
"The service wasn't good and we're trying to build a name for ourselves and the Marlins and Levy group, the food company they're using, was putting out a bad product and it kind of was opposite of what we were expecting," Vilma said on WQAM. "We expected something similar to the Yankees, where they put out a good product, what they sell you and what they market to you, what you're paying for is what you're gonna get."
Mind you, he's talking about food service here. But this really could be applied to everything the Marlins do. Miami certainly didn't get the product it was paying for.