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Mike’s Carwash trial awaits closing arguments

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Lawyers on Wednesday finished presenting evidence to determine the true value of Mike’s Carwash Inc. and how much a former co-owner should have been paid for his share in the company.

They will submit closing arguments in writing within the next two weeks to Hamilton Superior Court Judge William Hughes, who heard the trial in Noblesville without a jury. Hughes will make a ruling after receiving the arguments.

The privately held business and principals Bill and Mike Dahm, sons of company founder Joe Dahm, are defendants in the lawsuit brought by Jerry Dahm, a cousin who owned 35 percent of Mike’s until May 2010.

Jerry claims Bill and Mike fired him after 30 years with the company and forced him to sell his shares at an “unfairly low” valuation after Jerry sought to take out a bank loan using his stake in the business as collateral. Bill and Mike are now the only shareholders.

The profitable and fast-growing business with 37 locations in Indiana and Ohio is valued at $49 million, according to the company's appraisals.

Jerry, who lives near Fort Wayne, where Mike’s was founded in 1948, is asking for an independent appraisal of the value, along with a lump-sum buyout offer, damages and attorney’s fees.

As it stands, Jerry is set to receive payments totaling $17.1 million for his stake in Mike’s.

The trial started on March 12.
 

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