The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rejected claims made by co-owners of a cleaning franchise that business interruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily excused them from paying the franchise purchase price under the doctrines of impracticability of performance and frustration of purpose.

In May 2015, the business entity defendant, Lantern 18 LLC, purchased the cleaning franchise “Merry Maids of Boston” from the plaintiff, Le Fort Enterprises Inc. Pursuant to an amended promissory note, its individual co-owners, Samuel and Marcia Bergman, as co-obligors, were to pay the franchise purchase price through monthly installments with a final balloon payment in May 2022, according to the court’s opinion filed Jan. 3.

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