LONDON — The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on Oct. 26 said an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitral award for $6.7 million in damages against a Kuwaiti company due to alleged violations of restaurant franchising agreements cannot be enforced because the tribunal incorrectly applied French law in finding the arbitration agreement enforceable against the Kuwaiti company as nonsignatory.
CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Ohio on Oct. 19 fully adopted a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation that vehicle-related expenses incurred by delivery drivers working for Domino’s Pizza franchises may be “reasonably approximated” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA.)
NEW YORK — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed a reply on Oct. 21 in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals supporting its motion to dismiss as moot an appeal involving a challenge of a now-rescinded joint employer rule.
CHICAGO — A decision by three McDonald’s franchises to serve only cars in their drive-through lanes cannot serve as the basis of a claim against McDonald’s USA LLC under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because the franchisor does not “operate” its franchises within the meaning of the statute, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Oct. 5.
SAN FRANCISCO — A class settlement by a massage and skin care franchisor accused of violating its membership agreement by periodically increasing membership fees was a coupon settlement under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 20, first vacating approval of the attorney fee award and remanding for reconsideration based on the value of the redeemed vouchers and then vacating approval of the settlement for failure to adequately investigate the warning signs of implicit collusion, a process necessary for pre-certification settlements pursuant to In re Bluetooth Headset Products Liability Litigation.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour division recovered $27,209 in denied mileage reimbursement for delivery drivers employed by a South Carolina Jimmy John’s franchisee, the DOL announced Oct. 20.
SEATTLE— A federal judge in Washington on Oct. 7 denied a hotel owner’s motion to amend the judge’s prior judgment dismissing its lawsuit challenging an insurer’s denial of coverage for COVID-19-related losses, finding that even if the hotel owner’s scientific evidence that the coronavirus was airborne was “newly discovered evidence,” the claim would fail because the hotel owner could not show that the coronavirus causes lasting damage to property.
CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Michigan erred in granting a countertop manufacturer dismissal of allegations that it breached its contract with a countertop fabricator in view of a forum selection clause in the parties’ franchise agreement, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 15.
BOSTON — Franchisees who have allegedly been misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees are not exempt under the three-prong “ABC test” as it “applies to all claims of misclassification,” 7-Eleven franchisees tell the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in their Oct. 12 appellant brief addressing a certified question from the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 14 denied a request for a panel rehearing or, in the alternative, for rehearing en banc brought by two cleaning company franchisees after a divided panel ruled that their franchisor’s compensation scheme, which included an initial franchise fee and ongoing payments from franchisees, did not violate Connecticut law even if the franchisees were found to be employees rather than independent contractors.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court should review a wage-and-hour dispute between an employee and a Taco Bell franchisee to resolve a circuit split concerning whether a party asserting arbitration waiver due to litigation conduct must show prejudice as “the continued existence of the arbitration-specific prejudice requirement has consequences beyond its effect on particular cases, undermining this Court’s authority and leaving lower courts confused about how to apply its precedents,” the employee argues in her Oct. 15 reply brief.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee federal judge on Oct. 15 granted an insurer’s motion for default judgment in a carbon monoxide poisoning coverage dispute after determining that a default judgment is appropriate because the insured failed to make any appearances since the insurer filed its suit.
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 7 dismissed with leave to amend a putative class complaint accusing a sandwich franchisor of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws by labeling its tuna salad, sandwiches and wraps as “100% tuna” while failing to prevent adulteration in its supply chain or honor its representation that it has “a global ban on the sale of tuna species that come from anything less than healthy stocks.”
RALEIGH, N.C. — Golden Corral Corp. and Golden Corral Franchising Systems filed a notice in a North Carolina federal court on Oct. 6 indicating that they are appealing the court’s grant of an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissal of their bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for their financial losses arising from the suspension of their restaurant operations in response to the government orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
DENVER — A Golden, Colo., car dealership has violated federal law by subjecting both male and female employees to a sexually hostile work environment and Black and Hispanic employees to a racially hostile work environment, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in a complaint filed Sept. 30 in a federal court in Colorado.
NEW YORK — Two cleaning company franchisees moved for rehearing en banc on Sept. 24, less than a month after a divided Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that their franchisor’s compensation scheme, which included an initial franchise fee and ongoing payments from franchisees, did not violate Connecticut law even if the franchisees were found to be employees rather than independent contractors.
SPOKANE, Wash. — Following a stipulated motion to dismiss, a federal judge in Washington on Sept. 2 dismissed a lawsuit brought by Radisson Hotels International Inc., a hotel franchisor, alleging that one of its business competitors intentionally interfered with the franchise agreements of nine franchisees to acquire those franchisees and force the franchisor out of the subject territory.
RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on Sept. 8 granted an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissed Golden Corral Corp. and Golden Corral Franchising Systems’ bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for their financial losses arising from the suspension of their restaurant operations in response to the government orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insureds have not plausibly alleged tangible, physical harm to their covered property or a tangible loss of their covered property.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule on Sept. 23 that it says will restore the ability to levy civil money penalties up to $1,100 against employers who take workers’ tips and withdraw the civil money penalties’ provisions in the 2020 tip final rule that would have allowed the DOL to assess these penalties where such violations were found to be repeated or willful.
CHICAGO — Two Black fast food franchisees who filed a second amended complaint alleging discrimination filed an opposition on Sept. 15 to the franchisor’s motions to dismiss and strike class allegations, arguing that they have addressed the issues raised in the previous dismissal by the federal judge in Illinois and added a claim for fraudulent concealment.