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Papa John's founder sues pizza chain

CONTROVERSY: Papa John's

FOUNDER AND former chairman of Papa John's has taken the company to court seeking access to documents related to his exit from the pizza chain.

John Schnatter resigned earlier this month after apologising for using the N-word in a conference call.

Mr Schnatter filed the complaint on Thursday in Delaware Chancery Court and lawyers for the disgraced founder said they wanted to see the documents because of the "unexplained and heavy-handed way" that Papa John's had treated him.

His attorneys added they were "seeking to inspect Company documents because of the unexplained and heavy-handed way in which the Company has treated him since the publication of a story that falsely accused him of using a racial slur".

"Rather than address the real issues like the health of the business, the company is hiding documents that, we believe, will disclose the actual facts as to what is occurring here, including using Mr Schnatter as a scapegoat to cover up their own shortcomings and failures," they added.

In a statement Papa John's said the company was "saddened and disappointed" that Mr Schnatter had filed a "needless and wasteful lawsuit in an attempt to distract from his own words and actions".

"We are providing Mr Schnatter all of the materials he is entitled to as a director.

"We will not let his numerous mis-statements in the complaint and elsewhere distract us from the important work we are doing to move the business forward for our 120,000 corporate and franchise team members, and our franchisees, customers and stakeholders," the company said.

After Mr Schnatter's resignation the company said it would remove his image from its branding.

Papa John's is the world's third-largest pizza chain, with more than 350 outlets in the UK and 4,900 restaurants worldwide.

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