Mealey's Franchise

  • February 18, 2021

    Franchisor To 9th Circuit: Wrong Standard Used In Franchisee Status Ruling

    SAN FRANCISCO — A cleaning company franchisor that operates  a “three-tier” franchising model and was sued by the third tier for unpaid wages filed a petition on Feb. 16 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking a panel rehearing and rehearing en banc after the appellate court issued an amended opinion on Feb. 2 vacating a summary judgment ruling for the franchisor and remanded for the district court to consider whether the janitors are employees under the Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court standard in the first instance, arguing that the wrong standard was applied.

  • February 18, 2021

    Proposed Class Action Against Red Robin Over Beer Pours Remanded To Nevada Court

    LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on Feb. 12 agreed to remand a proposed class action against the Red Robin restaurant franchise for shorting customers by serving them 14 ounces of Stella Artois beer in a 16-ounce glass, noting that the corporation’s sales figures did not reach the jurisdictional amount-in-controversy threshold required by the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).

  • February 18, 2021

    Business Groups’ Amicus Briefs Back Burger King In No-Hire Conspiracy Appeal

    ATLANTA — The International Franchise Association and Florida Chamber of Commerce filed separate amicus curiae briefs on Feb. 3 in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals supporting arguments by Burger King’s corporate entities that a lower court correctly held that the fast food giant and its franchisees were incapable of conspiring to ensure that the franchisees did not recruit or hire each other’s employees.

  • February 18, 2021

    Federal Judge Upholds Chargeback Claim In Suit Over GM Franchise Termination

    CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 8 allowed a Chevrolet dealer franchisee’s claim that General Motors LLC imposed more than $670,000 in unlawful chargebacks against it to proceed to a nonjury trial but entered judgment on all other claims in the dealer’s suit alleging that GM illegally terminated their franchise agreement over disputed warranty reimbursement claims.

  • February 18, 2021

    Kentucky Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal Of Fraud Suit For Lack Of Standing

    FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Feb. 5 affirmed the dismissal of a woman’s fraudulent misrepresentation claims against a commercial cleaning system franchisor and others for lack of standing.  It concluded that the woman’s limited liability company, which entered the franchise agreement, should have been the party to file suit.

  • February 16, 2021

    Split NLRB Panel Denies Reconsideration Of Browning-Ferris

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A National Labor Relations Board panel majority on Feb. 11 denied reconsideration of its July 29 supplemental decision and order in which it vacated its 2015 decision in the case that had expanded the standard for assessing joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) while the lone dissenting member of the panel said the majority’s decision “def[ied]” instructions by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • February 12, 2021

    Judge Dismisses Claim Target Failed To Disclose Its Eye Doctors Aren’t Independent

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Feb. 4 granted a motion to dismiss a consumer’s claims that Target Corp. failed to disclose that optometrists at Target Optical stores were not “independent” because the consumer failed to establish that Target had a duty to disclose to her but declined to dismiss her claims that Target participated in misrepresentations regarding the independence of the optometrists.

  • February 12, 2021

    Panel Reverses Summary Judgment In Consumer’s UCL, Warranty Case Against CVS

    LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel on Feb. 5 reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment against a consumer who brought an unfair competition law (UCL) claim against a pharmacy chain for not making available the terms of a limited warranty for a water flosser she purchased, finding that the consumer has UCL standing and that the court abused its discretion by excluding one of her statements from evidence.

  • February 11, 2021

    Judge Dismisses UCL Case Against Marriott For Data Breach, Citing Lack Of Injury

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Jan. 12 granted a motion to dismiss a putative class action against the Marriott International Inc. hotel company for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws in relation to a customer data breach that occurred in Russia, writing that the plaintiffs lack standing to sue because sensitive information was not accessed during the breach.

  • February 09, 2021

    D.C. Circuit Denies Union’s Rehearing Request In NLRB Union Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 4 denied a petition for panel rehearing filed by a union that intervened in an appeal challenging a decision by the National Labor Relations Board in a union representation dispute with a Chicago-area hotel operator.

  • February 09, 2021

    Judge Conditionally Certifies FLSA Collective For Some New Mexico Denny’s Servers

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A federal judge in New Mexico on Feb. 5 conditionally certified a collective for servers who work at some Denny’s franchise locations in New Mexico who complain that the managers violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New Mexico Minimum Wage Act (NMMWA) by implementing illegal wage policies but found that the plaintiffs were unable to sufficiently allege that similar illegal conduct occurred at Denny’s locations owned by the defendants outside of the state.

  • February 09, 2021

    JPMDL Won’t Consolidate Dickey’s Barbecue Data Breach Lawsuits In California

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Noting that only six putative class actions have been filed over the recently announced data breach experienced by Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc., the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Feb. 4 denied a motion by the plaintiffs in one of those cases to consolidate the suits in California federal court, holding that the parties and courts involved can instead engage in informal coordination efforts.

  • February 08, 2021

    Sexual Misconduct Claims In Papa John’s Stock-Drop Suit Dismissed With Prejudice

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Feb. 3 granted motions to dismiss filed by pizza delivery and carryout franchise Papa John’s International Inc. and its current and former CEOs on claims that they violated federal securities law by failing to disclose a toxic workplace environment created by a culture of sexual harassment and other inappropriate workplace conduct by its most senior executives, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action failed to cure pleading deficiencies that led to a prior dismissal of its claims.

  • February 08, 2021

    Arbitration Rules Reference Shows ‘Clear’ Intent, Master Franchisee Tells High Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A master franchisee of commercial cleaning businesses urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 4 to reject a petition for certiorari filed by two franchisees who argue that an appeals court in a proposed class action over employment classifications erred in holding that the mere reference to arbitration rules in an agreement constitutes “clear and unmistakable” intent to delegate arbitrability issues to an arbitrator instead of a court.

  • February 08, 2021

    Federal Judge Upholds Claims Against In-Home Care Franchisees, Grants Injunction

    LINCOLN, Neb. — A Nebraska federal judge refused on Feb. 4 to dismiss or stay an in-home care franchisor’s breach of contract claims against former franchisees in favor of a wrongful death action pending in an Alabama state court against the franchisees.  In a separate ruling on Jan. 29, the judge agreed to impose a preliminary injunction against the former franchisees to keep them from violating the franchise agreements’ non-compete clauses.

  • February 05, 2021

    New Jersey Judge Transfers Trampoline Park Franchise Agreement Suit To Texas Court

    NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Jan. 31 transferred to Texas an action brought by an association representing trampoline park franchises alleging that a franchisor made unilateral changes to the franchise agreements, citing the doctrine of forum non conveniens and the franchise agreements’ forum-selection clauses.

  • February 05, 2021

    Burger King Opposes Reconsideration In Franchise Closure Dispute

    MIAMI — Burger King Corp., which was awarded summary judgment on Dec. 22 by a federal judge in Florida in its lawsuit accusing a franchisee of breaching its agreement by closing a restaurant without consent, filed a memorandum on Feb. 2 opposing the franchisee’s motion for reconsideration.

  • February 03, 2021

    9th Circuit Vacates, Remands Franchise Wage Case After Dynamex Ruling

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 2, in light of the California Supreme Court’s recent ruling that Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court applies retroactively in nonfinal cases, issued an amended opinion vacating a summary judgment ruling for the franchisor in a wage complaint by janitors alleging misclassification and remanded for the district court to consider whether the janitors are employees under the Dynamex standard in the first instance.

  • February 02, 2021

    New Jersey Federal Judge: Gas Station Franchise Entitled To Fees, Costs

    TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Jan. 22 awarded a gas station franchise $100,276.93 in attorney fees and costs after it prevailed on allegations that a gas distributor violated the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (PMPA).

  • February 01, 2021

    9th Circuit Rejects Bid By Volkswagen Franchises To Press RICO Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a Jan. 26 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals left intact a California federal judge’s determination that allegations that a German multinational engineering and technology company and its subsidiary violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in connection with Volkswagen’s buyback program fail.

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