Mealey's Franchise

  • May 26, 2023

    7th Circuit Won’t Review Class Certification In Real Estate Commission Suit

    CHICAGO — A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel denied a petition for permission to appeal class certification following a trial court’s ruling in an antitrust action accusing the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and seven real estate franchisors of conspiring to artificially inflate commission offers to a successful buyer-broker for property listing on a multiple listing service (MLS).

  • May 24, 2023

    EEOC Files 2 Harassment Complaints Against Culver’s Franchisee

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed two complaints on May 23 in a federal court in Minnesota accusing R&G Endeavors Inc., doing business as Culver’s Restaurants of Cottage Grove, of subjecting employees to hostile work environments due to multiple forms of harassment.

  • May 16, 2023

    TGI Friday’s, Class Seek To Settle Licensed Snack Sticks Labeling Claims

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois reset a status hearing in a putative class complaint over snack labeling claims after the parties filed a joint status report stating that they’ve negotiated a settlement.

  • May 12, 2023

    Taco Bell Worker’s Biometric Data Collection Class Suit Ordered To Arbitration

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A federal judge in Illinois granted a restaurant service group and its related entities’ motion for arbitration in a putative class complaint by a Taco Bell employee who alleges that workers’ biometric data is collected, used and stored in violation of Illinois law, finding that the employee herself argued that the signatory to the arbitration agreement, a nonparty to the suit, has an agency relationship with the defendants.

  • April 27, 2023

    $40M Keller Williams TCPA Class Settlement Approved By Florida Judge

    VERO BEACH, Fla. — Keller Williams Realty Inc. will pay $40 million and change its business practices to end a class complaint alleging that it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and National Do Not Call Registry (DNC) requirements by placing unsolicited, prerecorded calls to consumers without their consent, according to a settlement agreement granted final approval by a Florida judge.

  • April 21, 2023

    Oklahoma Federal Judge Enjoins Franchises From Using ‘Pizza Inn’ Mark

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A dispute between a franchisor and two former franchisees over continued use of the “Pizza Inn” trademarks in connection with two Oklahoma restaurants yielded a preliminary injunction, when a federal judge said consumers would likely be confused if relief is not entered.

  • April 19, 2023

    9th Circuit Denies Burger Chain’s Petition For Rehearing In COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 18 unanimously denied In-N-Out Burgers’ petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc challenging its March 10 ruling that affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of its breach of contract lawsuit against its commercial property insurer seeking business interruption coverage for its coronavirus losses.

  • April 14, 2023

    McDonald’s Granted Protective Order In AI Voiceprint Class Lawsuit

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on April 13 granted a motion for a protective order sought by McDonald’s Corp. in a putative class complaint alleging that the franchisor violates Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting voiceprints to place drive-through orders.

  • April 11, 2023

    Hooters Franchisee Reaches Settlement With DOJ In Immigration Bias Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Florida-based franchisee will pay a civil penalty and provide back pay and training to settle claims by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that it violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against a non-U.S. citizen when checking her permission to work in the United States, the DOJ announced April 10.

  • March 31, 2023

    Penalty Wages Portion Of Verdict Corrected; Jack In The Box’s Other Motions Denied

    PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal judge in Oregon on March 30 granted one of three motions filed by Jack in the Box Inc. following an October verdict awarding a class more than $5.3 million in a wage dispute, agreeing that penalty wages of $1,908 for a worker who previously settled should not have been included in the class award and that the penalty wages for the named plaintiffs needed to be reduced to account for the finding that there were no improper shoe deductions taken.

  • March 31, 2023

    Massachusetts’ Amicus Brief Supports Franchisees In Misclassification Appeal

    BOSTON — Massachusetts filed an amicus curiae brief in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals supporting 7-Eleven Inc. franchisees who are seeking reversal of a summary judgment ruling for the franchisor in their lawsuit alleging misclassification and related wage claims.

  • March 27, 2023

    Burger Chain Asks 9th Circuit To Rehear No Coverage Ruling For Coronavirus Losses

    PASADENA, Calif. — In-N-Out Burgers filed a petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc challenging the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ March 10 ruling that affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of its breach of contract lawsuit against its commercial property insurer, arguing that the Ninth Circuit should correct or withdraw its ruling and stay the appeal pending the California Supreme Court’s answer to the Ninth Circuit’s certified question in Another Planet Entertainment, LLC v. Vigilant Ins. Co. to determine whether “the actual or potential presence of the COVID-19 virus on an insured's premises” constitutes “direct physical loss or damage to property” to trigger coverage under an insured’s commercial property insurance policy.

  • March 13, 2023

    Panel: Contamination Exclusion Bars Burger Chain’s Coverage For Coronavirus Losses

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 10 affirmed dismissal of In-N-Out Burgers’ breach of contract lawsuit against its commercial property insurer, finding that a policy’s contamination exclusion barred coverage for the insured’s losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • March 01, 2023

    Reinsurance Commutation Figures In Franchisee’s Negligence, Fraud Action

    JACKSON, Miss. — Alleging negligence, fraud and breach of fiduciary duties in connection with “a corporate insurance and risk management program promoted, created, and put in place by Defendants for Domino’s Pizza franchisees,” a franchisee sued a corporation, a limited liability company and the two individuals who are members of the latter in a Mississippi federal court.

  • March 01, 2023

    California Federal Judge Won’t Enjoin Franchisees From Trademark Use

    LOS ANGELES — A bid by a franchisor for an ex parte temporary restraining order (TRO) barring its former franchisees from using the “LeanFeast” trademark was denied by a federal judge in California, who said evidence of irreparable harm is lacking.

  • March 01, 2023

    Panel: No Triable Issue That COVID-19 In Hotel Caused Insured’s Alleged Lost Income

    SAN DIEGO — A California appeals court panel affirmed a summary judgment ruling in favor of a commercial insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit brought by the owner and operator of a 126-room Holiday Inn Express franchise in San Diego, finding that “there is no evidence creating a triable issue that COVID-19 in the hotel caused the claimed lost income.”

  • February 21, 2023

    Franchisee Tells 6th Circuit Approximation Of Drivers’ Expenses Is Appropriate

    CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should affirm a trial court’s ruling finding that a Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulation concerning an employer’s accounting for worker-provided supplies allows for “reasonable approximation” of vehicle-related expenses incurred by delivery drivers, a Domino’s Pizza franchisee argues in its appellee brief.

  • February 03, 2023

    EEOC Complaint Accuses Domino’s Franchise Of Race-Based Harassment

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Domino’s Pizza franchisee in Olean, N.Y., violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting Black workers to mistreatment by managers, including the regular use of racial slurs and threats, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in a complaint filed Feb. 2 in a federal court in New York.

  • January 23, 2023

    Insured Failed To Provide Timely Notice Of Deadly Shooting, CGL Insurer Argues

    NEWNAN, Ga. — A commercial general liability insurer filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit in a federal court in Georgia challenging coverage for a wrongful death/premises liability lawsuit brought against a Quality Inn & Suites, arguing that the insured failed to provide timely notice of the shooting that prompted the underlying action.

  • January 09, 2023

    7-Eleven’s Claims For Attorney Fees Denied In Franchisee Classification Dispute

    BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts allowed a cross-motion for summary judgment by 7-Eleven Inc. franchisees on counterclaims and third-party claims of breach of contract and indemnity by the franchisor in a dispute over the proper classification for the franchisees.