Almost Lost My Business When I Was Sued for $30K | Business Comeback Story

Almost Lost My Business When I Was Sued for $30K | Business Comeback Story

My name is Janine I am the founder of Kin + Kind and
I was sued by landlord and almost lost my business. This is my Work Through Failure Story. It all started with a letter saying I’m
responsible for a $30,000 fire system, sprinkler system in the building. We make organic grooming products for dogs and cats. And at the time the landlord was trying to sell the building. And when they did the inspection they found out that he needed a sprinkler system. So obviously I don’t have $30,000 to put a
sprinkler system and it’s not my building, so I felt it wasn’t my responsibility. And when I refused, he started a lot of bully tactics. Threatening me, threatening my neighbours. The landlord would actually come into the building to the point where I had to call the police on him to have him
removed physically from the building cause he refused to leave. When it first started I was pretty nauseous.
I was pretty sick to my stomach. He actually told my neighbours that if I didn’t sign these
documents that they were going to shut down the entire building. Put me in a really awkward spot. His lawyer came in trying to get me to sign false documents
saying that it’s my responsibility. The whole thing was just horrible. I was just constantly
stressed. I was so overwhelmed with everything. Anytime you get a phone call from a lawyer
or a letter from a lawyer it’s terrifying. You like never know what it says. You’re trying to
read it, you don’t understand anything. He had a letter from the town made up saying that they were going to put a lock on the door in a
few days if I didn’t put the sprinkler system in, and that I was going to be evicted. Luckily at the time my twin brother’s a lawyer, so I looked at him for advice. My brother called the town. The town has no idea
what they’re talking about, obviously that’s not true. It’s still agonizing even though my brother’s a lawyer telling me it’s okay. Because this is actually my livelihood, this is how I pay for all my bills. So we go to court, coming up to that court date was absolutely terrifying. I knew it was going to finally be the end, but at the same time
you don’t know what the outcome is going to be. And the judge finds out that my brother’s actually a New York lawyer and we’re in New Jersey, so the judge feels like it’s not right for him to
represent me basically in court even though my brother was a partner in the business. So the judge looks at Tom and says, “You’re not a New Jersey lawyer, ” “and you’re not allowed to represent this case.” I’m still okay at this point, I’m like he’ll just be next to me,
he’ll tell me what to say, you know same thing. And as soon as we sit down my brother starts to
talk and the judge looks at him and goes “No no,” “I’m giving you a courtesy, you’re only allowed
to sit here, you’re not allowed to speak.” “If you speak again you’ll be kicked out of the courtroom.” Thomas looks at me and goes, “We weren’t planning on this but,
and today you’re going to be a lawyer and you have to win.” I told that judge exactly what he did to me. Exactly what that man tried to do. All his tactics, all his lies. And I remember the judge leaning off his counter and he looked at me like, tell me what he did. He looked with like puppy dog eyes. He had sympathy for me. I knew it,
I was like that moment I was like we won. This guy knows the truth. The judge goes back with all the paperwork. Looks it over. Felt like forever, like I said he’s back
there deciding who wins and loses this case. And he finally comes out, and he starts talking some legal stuff
about how you know legally this legally that. My twin brother’s getting nervous at this point. He’s writing “We lost, we lost” down on a piece of paper. I remember looking at him. I took the piece of paper and
was like, “shhh, we got this, don’t worry, we’re gonna win.” I remember trying to hush him and all of a sudden the judges
attitude completely changed, and he started talking about all the illegal things the landlord actually did. That these were all horrible tactics that he played. He totally believed me, understood
that is was completely wrong everything he did. Oh my god I remember I was overjoyed, and my brother you know finally started to realize we won. Starts writing it
down, “We won, we won, we won.” hitting the table he was so excited. I remember laughing thinking you know not only did you lose, you lost to me you know, not even
to my brother. My brother didn’t even half to beat you. Sometimes you gotta stand up to somebody. You’re doing the right thing. You’re not in the wrong. And you can’t let people get away with things like that. And I think I wouldn’t have stopped if somebody didn’t finally stand up doing it for other people
so this just doesn’t keep happening. Hi I’m Alex and I have a confession to make. I have failed many many times. And so have you. And that is why I produced this WTF story.
So that you and I can feel a little bit less alone. So if you want to learn more about founders who have
overcome their challenges and worked through their failures be sure to like this video, subscribe, and hit the bell to turn on our notifications.


One thought on “Almost Lost My Business When I Was Sued for $30K | Business Comeback Story”

  • We are a nation of laws. Laws dilute principles. The golden rule is a principle. If we were a nation of principles this never would have happened. Your landlord would have to make the case that his actions fit the Golden rule. And he would have to make it to a jury… not to a judge. Iterative secession. We need to scrap this law thing that does not work and start over.

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