After being convicted of murdering his wife, Calvin Harris lost his dealerships. Four trials and 15 years later, he has been acquitted of the charges. Now he wants his stores back.
Harris, 55, is suing his former partner, Joseph Reagan, 53. Harris and Reagan owned Royal Chevrolet and Royal Nissan, which also sold Subaru vehicles, in Cortland, N.Y., about 25 miles south of Syracuse.
In a lawsuit filed Oct. 24 in the Supreme Court of New York, County of Cortland, Harris alleges Reagan violated a shareholder's agreement and fraudulently gained full ownership of the business after a jury convicted Harris of killing his estranged wife.
But in a fourth trial, a judge acquitted Harris this May. Now Harris wants his 45 percent ownership stake back and the right to enter and run the business, according to court documents. Alternatively, he'll take a minimum of $12.5 million in damages from Reagan.
Reagan's lawyer, Dale Worrall, said Harris won't succeed.
"It appears that Mr. Harris may be seeking the same relief that he already sought in a previous complaint" filed in a different court in 2014, wrote Worrall, a partner at Harris Beach law firm in Pittsford, N.Y., in an email to Automotive News.
That complaint was dismissed and Harris did not appeal, Worrall wrote.
"We fully expect that Mr. Harris's most recent complaint, like his previous complaint, will be dismissed in its entirety," he wrote.
Harris' lawyer declined comment on the lawsuit on behalf of his client.