Mealey's Franchise

  • June 07, 2021

    Plethora Of Bar, Restaurant Owners, Operators Sue Insurer For Coronavirus Losses

    CHICAGO — Owners and operators of various bars, restaurants and taverns, including the Buffalo Wild Wings franchise, sued their property and casualty insurer in a federal court in Illinois on June 2 for its failure to provide coverage for their lost business income arising from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent executive orders issued by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

  • June 04, 2021

    Preliminary Approval Of $1.2M Wage, Hour Class Action Settlement Denied A 3rd Time

    FRESNO, Calif. — A former Five Guys employee’s third motion seeking preliminary approval of a proposed $1.2 million class action settlement of allegations that the franchise chain and a franchisee violated federal and California consumer reporting laws, California wage-and-hour laws and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) does not provide sufficient information to show that it “is likely to be approved as ‘fair, reasonable, and adequate’ upon certification of the class,” a California federal judge ruled in an order filed June 1 that denied the motion without prejudice.

  • June 03, 2021

    Ford To 6th Circuit:  Fairness Act Can’t Protect Foreign Dealer From Arbitration

    CINCINNATI — Ford Motor Co. in a June 1 appellee brief to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals says a Kuwaiti car dealer’s argument that the Motor Vehicle Franchise Contract Arbitration Fairness Act (the Fairness Act) applies to foreign dealers and should have precluded a district court from ordering it to arbitrate a dispute with Ford is moot and contends that the Fairness Act applies only domestically.

  • June 02, 2021

    Papa John’s Franchisees Seek To Settle Drivers’ Expenses Suit For $3.25 Million

    DAYTON, Ohio — Pizza delivery drivers employed by Papa John’s franchisees who brought class and collective claims seeking reimbursement for actual expenses moved in a federal court in Ohio on May 27 for preliminary approval of a $3.25 million settlement.

  • June 02, 2021

    Franchise Owner’s Motion For Attorney Fees In EEOC Suit Denied By Federal Judge

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on May 18 denied a post-settlement motion for attorney fees filed by the owner of multiple franchises in a dispute with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over an arbitration agreement employees were required to sign.

  • June 01, 2021

    Engineering Firm: Building Designer Has No Evidence To Support Negligence Claim

    RALEIGH, N.C. — An engineering firm named as a third-party defendant in a property owner and hotel franchisee’s suit over a building designer’s allegedly faulty plans says in a motion for summary judgment filed May 13 in federal court in North Carolina that the designer has not proffered any evidence that the firm violated its standard of care.

  • May 28, 2021

    Insurer: No Coverage Owed For BIPA Suits Brought Against McDonald’s Franchisees

    CHICAGO — An insurer on May 19 filed suit in an Illinois court, seeking a declaration that is has no duty to defend or indemnify McDonald’s and its franchisees against two underlying lawsuits alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), arguing that the underlying claims do not assert “bodily injury” or “property damage” that was caused by an “occurrence” nor do they allege “personal and advertising injury” under the policy.

  • May 28, 2021

    Federal Magistrate Judge: Drivers’ Expenses May Be ‘Reasonably Approximated’

    CINCINNATI — Vehicle-related expenses incurred by delivery drivers working for Domino’s Pizza franchises may be “reasonably approximated” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as there is “no genuine ambiguity” in the anti-kickback regulation, a federal magistrate judge in Ohio stated in her May 26 report and recommendation.

  • May 28, 2021

    Wendy’s Franchisee Agrees To Settle Nevada Upper-Tier Minimum Wage Class Claims

    LAS VEGAS — A Wendy’s franchise in Nevada has agreed pay more than $858,000 to settle class claims that it failed to pay workers who declined health benefits upper-tier minimum wages pursuant to state law, according to an order granting preliminary class settlement approval issued May 27 by a federal judge in Nevada.

  • May 27, 2021

    Insurer Says District Court’s Ruling On COVID-19 Losses Must Be Affirmed

    ATLANTA — A district court correctly found that an insured restaurant chain’s claim for loss of business income caused by shutdown orders issued by state governors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is not covered because the decision is clearly supported by the insurance policy’s language and because the policy’s contamination exclusion bars coverage, an insurer says in a May 26 appellee brief filed in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • May 26, 2021

    Judge Refuses To Vacate Dismissal Of Franchise Owners’ $41M Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on May 24 denied a motion to vacate filed by the owners of more than 120 franchise locations under the brands Wendy's, T.G.I. Friday's, Marriott and Hilton, refusing to disturb her dismissal of their breach of contract lawsuit alleging $40,798,390 in damages for their losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • May 24, 2021

    Franchisee’s Motion For Judgment On Architecture Firm’s Counterclaim Denied

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on May 12 denied a hotel franchisee’s motion for judgment on an architecture firm’s counterclaim for breach of an agreement to pay for design services, finding that emails between the parties from 2008 cannot be considered because they are not integral to or relied on by the firm in its counterclaim.

  • May 24, 2021

    Federal Magistrate Judge Denies Former Franchisee’s Nonparty Discovery Requests

    PHOENIX — In a trademark infringement action, a federal magistrate judge in Arizona on May 13 sustained a bathroom remodeling franchisor’s objections to a former franchisee’s discovery requests for the profit and loss statements of a nonparty franchisee, the franchisor’s financial statements and documents related to agreements between the franchisor and the nonparty franchisee.

  • May 24, 2021

    Franchisor Awarded $97,000 By Florida Judge For Unapproved Shutdown Of 2 Franchises

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Following a bench trial, a Florida federal judge awarded a mobile dental equipment repair franchisor nearly $97,000 in damages on May 14 due to a franchisee shutting down two Virginia franchises without consent.  The judge refused to reduce the amount to present value, holding that the franchisee produced no evidence regarding the proper calculation method.

  • May 21, 2021

    Illinois High Court: Defense Owed For Claims Insured Disclosed Fingerprint Data

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Supreme Court on May 20 affirmed a lower court’s ruling that an insurer has a duty to defend against class action claims that its insured violated the Biometric Information Privacy Act by disclosing fingerprint data to a third party without consent, further affirming that the policy’s violation of statutes exclusion does not bar coverage.

  • May 21, 2021

    2nd Circuit: Summary Judgment Against Franchisee Stands In TCPA Case

    NEW YORK — A former Wyndham Hotel Group franchisee “cannot now complain about receiving advertisements of the very type it expressly agreed to receive” through its franchise agreements with Wyndham, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 13 on class allegations that Lands’ End violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending unsolicited fax advertisements, affirming a federal judge’s grant of summary judgment that dismissed the case.

  • May 21, 2021

    Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss Gym Franchisee’s Tortious Interference Claim

    CONCORD, N.H. — A fitness center franchisee stated a plausible claim for tortious interference, a New Hampshire federal judge concluded May 14 in denying Planet Fitness’ motion for judgment on the pleadings to dismiss the counterclaim in a breach of contract suit over the development of franchise locations in Mexico.

  • May 20, 2021

    Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss 5 Sex Trafficking Suits Against 5 Florida Hotels

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on May 10 refused to dismiss the fifth of five lawsuits filed against the franchisors, franchisees and operators of five hotels brought by a woman alleging that she was a victim of sex trafficking at the hotels over a three-year period.  He rejected the defendants’ arguments that the allegations were impermissibly vague and failed to state a claim.

  • May 14, 2021

    Judge: Franchisee Group Lacks Associational Standing To Sue Franchisor Over Fees

    FORTH WORTH, Texas — An association that represents trampoline park franchises failed to demonstrate associational standing to pursue claims for relief against a franchisor that it alleges made unilateral changes to the franchise agreements that affect profitability, a Texas federal judge ruled May 6, granting a motion to dismiss the case.

  • May 14, 2021

    Judge Orders Marriott To Produce Discovery In Suit, Imposes Sanctions For Delay

    SAN DIEGO — A federal magistrate judge in California on May 12 granted in part a motion to compel discovery brought by the plaintiffs in a putative class action accusing a hotel franchise of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state statutes, writing that the bulk of the franchise’s objections to discovery were unfounded and ordering sanctions against it for raising objections to discovery that the court previously said were unmeritorious.

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