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Filing for bankruptcy protection is not usually something many Florida residents think they will have to consider in the future. However, as we have witnessed in these past few years, the economy can drastically change and many individuals may encounter other bumps in the road that they did not anticipate. These changes can have a serious impact on one’s financial stability, prompting individuals to consider filing for Chapter 7 in order to resolve their financial problems.

A celebrity chef has recently announced that he is filing for personal bankruptcy in response to a class-action lawsuit that has been filed against him. Geoffrey Zakarian filed Chapter 7 on April 6 in a federal court. The chef’s publicist announced that the bankruptcy was filed due to the estimated cost of defending the class-action lawsuit against Zakarian. The lawsuit is seeking $1 million in damages and thousands of dollars in fines.

The celebrity chef has denied the allegations brought forth by former employees of a restaurant that closed in 2008. Since Country closed, the chef has opened several restaurants of his own and still has plans to open the Tudor House restaurant in Miami Beach.

The Chapter 7 filing lists $50,000 in assets and $1 million in liabilities. Over 170 creditors have been listed in the bankruptcy, including 152 individuals who were former cooks at Country who are part of the class-action lawsuit. By filing for personal bankruptcy protection, any litigation against Zakarian must be put on hold.

While operating several successful restaurants with plans to open more, Zakarian also appears on four Food Network programs, including “Chopped” and is currently involved in the taping of “The Next Iron Chef.”

Source

The Seattle Times: “Star chef, facing a suit, files for bankruptcy,” Nick Fox, 27 Apr. 2011