Former Toki Underground chef Erik Bruner-Yang has filed a lawsuit against his business partners, seeking damages of at least $1 million.
The paperwork was filed June 3 in D.C. Superior Court, according to The Washington City Paper. The legal action comes after his partners filed a cease and desist letter regarding his plans to open restaurants at The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan, the report says. Bruner-Yang claims in the suit the partners were coercing him to let them be involved in his future projects, including the hotel and his recent Whole Foods partnership. The cease and desist letter makes accusations of Bruner-Yang violating non-compete clauses and misappropriating funds.
There appears to be issues between the chef and his partners dating back some time. Bruner-Yang announced he was stepping down from Toki Underground in April, but the report says he was removed as managing partner the previous fall.
Eater has reached out to both Bruner-Yang and former partners Jeff Jetton and Praveen Goyal for any comment. Neither parties have commented publicly on the suit, though both acknowledged tension in a recent Washington Business Journal profile of the chef.
UPDATE: Jetton and Goyal referred questions to their attorney — Eater will update this post if a response from their legal team comes.