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MAGNA, Utah (AP) -- Sausage making has escalated into a lawsuit over control of a third-generation family business.
Ernest Colosimo, 79, is president of Colosimo's Inc., which is suing his late brother Gale's three sons for using the wrong spices at a new sausage factory in West Jordan, where most of the sausages are made.
Ernest Colosimo's son, Charles, said he spotted the unauthorized spices on shrink-wrapped pallets while making deliveries to the West Jordan factory. He says those errant spices violate a licensing agreement between two sides of the family.
"Well, you know, that's a little misleading," his cousin Joe Colosimo said Friday. "I make other sausages for private label brands" and the offending spices are for those brands.
Joe Colosimo said another family rift over royalties is behind the lawsuit, and he noted his mother, half owner of Colosimo's Inc. of Sandy, wasn't notified of the lawsuit and is now effectively suing her own son.
"It's gotten out of hand," he said.
Joe Colosimo said he and his two brothers have spent $1 million building up the Colosimo brand with no help from their uncle or cousins.
"We rolled the rock up to the top of the hill," he said. "We're right on the verge of being lucrative, and that's the gist of the lawsuit."
Joe, Larry and Paul are sons of Gale Colosimo, who died two years ago.
Jerald Hale, an attorney for Ernest Colosimo's family, said it only wants to enforce terms of the 2003 licensing agreement or force the cousins to stop using the Colosimo trade name.
The family business got its start in 1923 when the cousins' grandfather and Italian immigrant Ralph Colosimo opened a Magna grocery specializing in sausage. It has been a Utah favorite for decades.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)