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    Former COO Sues Marsh Supermarkets

    Chain plagued with legal troubles as acquisition closes.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Marsh Supermarkets' former president and chief operating officer, David A. Marsh, is suing the company, claiming that it owes him thousands of dollars because of miscalculated severance pay, according to The Associated Press.

    Marsh, who was dismissed from his position in February during a corporate shake-up, claims that he is entitled to severance pay based on his base salary and bonuses for three years following his release, totaling more than $700,000 per year, the AP reported. In the lawsuit he alleges that the company has miscalculated his pay and that he is being underpaid by $33,000 per year.

    In addition, his benefits -- life, medical, dental, accident and disability insurance -- are not comparable to those he received as COO and can not be covered by the $31,000 he receives per year to pay for them.

    Marsh filed the lawsuit at the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis on Wednesday.

    The company has also been sued by shareholder Irene Kasmer, who claims chairman and CEO Don E. Marsh and other directors have mismanaged the company, depleting the capital it had before its recent merger agreements.

    The lawsuit wants the scheduled $88 million acquisition of the company by Sun Capital Partners Inc. halted. Shareholders are expected to vote on the merger today. Marsh and MSH Supermarkets' affiliate, Sun Capital completed a definitive merger agreement in May, where it would acquire all of Marsh's stocks for $11.12 per share.

    The company has asked the court to dismiss the suit, stating that the plaintiff does not have the legal standing to challenge the acquisition under Indiana law. According to Connie Gardner, senior director of community relations, the company has not been served with the suit and it has declined requests for comment, the AP reported.

    Marsh operates 68 Marsh supermarkets, 38 LoBill Foods, eight O'Malia Food Markets, 154 Village Pantry convenience stores and two Arthur's Fresh Market stores in Indiana and western Ohio. The company also operates Crystal Food Services, Primo Banquet Catering and Conference Centers, Floral Fashions, and McNamara Florist.

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