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Bitter Family Lawsuit at Iconic NYC Steakhouse Ends with $120M Payout

The Palm’s licensing agreement suit has ended in favor of the plaintiffs

The original Palm, with caricatures on the walls and a waiter at a table.
The original Palm
Nick Solares/Eater

The dramatic lawsuit between family members of historic New York steakhouse the Palm has been settled for a whopping $120 million.

The steakhouse — known for its caricature-covered walls — has become a national chain since opening here in 1926, and years ago, two grandkids of founders Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi sued their cousin and his business partner for locking them out of proper profits.

On Tuesday, a judge decided in favor of Garry Ganzi and Claire Breen, demanding that cousin Walter Ganzi Jr. and partner Bruce Bozzi Sr. pay more than $71 million in past royalties and $1.7 million in lost rent. Along with interest and attorney fees, the judgement totaled about $120 million.

Ganzi and Breen were part owners of the original Palm that closed in 2015, and in the 1970s, Ganzi Jr. and Bozzi Sr. created a separate company that owned all the new locations outside of New York. There are now more than two dozen in the U.S. and Mexico.

As part of the separation, Ganzi and Breen received a $6,000 licensing fee for each new outpost — but the suit stemmed from the siblings saying that the fee was not enough money. Ganzi Jr. and Bozzi Sr. countered that since they put in the work for the expansion, the money should stay at their company.

But the suit, filed in 2012, ended in the siblings favor. The court rejected Ganzi Jr.’s point of view, noting that the Palm name “was key to the success of defendants’ business ventures,” according to the decision. The $6,000 fee “was not the industry-norm,” and ultimately, the licensing agreement was “undervalued,” the decision says.

The Palm Too

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