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Deaths ignite a family feud

2 widows sue over last assets of Clair Auto

Clair Auto Group, founded in 1964 by family patriarch James “Ernie’’ Clair (above, at right, in 1971), became one of New England’s largest auto dealership chains. (On the left is Tony Nitti, general manager at the time.) Today, what is left of the business is run by sons Joseph Clair of Medfield and Michael Clair of Biddeford, Maine. They are accused in a lawsuit by their late brothers’ wives of trying to freeze the widows out of the business. Clair Auto Group, founded in 1964 by family patriarch James “Ernie’’ Clair (above, at right, in 1971), became one of New England’s largest auto dealership chains. (On the left is Tony Nitti, general manager at the time.) Today, what is left of the business is run by sons Joseph Clair of Medfield and Michael Clair of Biddeford, Maine. They are accused in a lawsuit by their late brothers’ wives of trying to freeze the widows out of the business. (Joseph Runci/ Globe Staff/ File 1971)
By Steven Syre
Globe Staff / April 23, 2010

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Just three years ago, the Clair family seemed to be on top of the world. The four brothers had sold most of the family’s auto dealerships, one of the largest chains in the state, for $80 million. On a trip to Ireland that summer, the extended family stayed in a castle and visited the village of its ancestors. (Full article: 779 words)

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