Marketer alleges Houston Chronicle forced him out of work

By Molly English-Bowers | Dec 21, 2015

HOUSTON -- A Houston businessman is suing the Houston Chronicle, alleging the defendant's actions forced him to shut down his longtime business.

James D. Blythe, formerly doing business as Southwest Circulation Marketing, filed a lawsuit Sept. 21 in Harris County District Court against the Houston Chronicle Publishing Company, also known as Hearst Newspapers LLC.

According to the complaint, since 1995 Blythe had contracted with the Chronicle to obtain subscriptions starts at various college locations in Houston. In March 2013, however, the suit says, a new vice president of circulation took over and changed policies, payments and procedures, some of them without informing the plaintiff. 

Blythe alleges those changes caused him to lose money, more than $76,000, which he says the defendant has never paid. On March 14, 2014, the lawsuit states, the defendant informed the plaintiff it was terminating his contractual services, even though 30 days' notice is required. 

As a result, the plaintiff was forced to shut down his longstanding business, causing hardship, emotional distress and other negative effects, the suit says.

Blythe seeks actual damages, punitive damages, interest, attorney fees and court costs, plus other relief the court deems appropriate. He is represented by attorney Kathy Cheng of Cheng Associates PLLC in Houston.

Harris County District Court Case number 4:15-cv-02737

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