INDIANAPOLIS — A Bloomington, Ind., Subway franchisee will pay $28,700 to end a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a federal court in Indiana after the sandwich shop allegedly rejected a hard-of-hearing job applicant due to his hearing and speech impairments, the EEOC announced March 25.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 25 denied a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc filed by a cleaning company franchisor after the appellate court issued an amended opinion on Feb. 2 vacating a summary judgment ruling for the franchisor and remanding 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.
SEATTLE — A man who registered several internet domains incorporating McDonald’s Corp.'s valid “McD” trademark, did so with a bad faith intend to profit by seeking to obtain payment from the fast food chain in exchange for his delivery of misdirected emails, a Washington federal judge ruled on March 23, granting summary judgment to McDonald’s on its cybersquatting counterclaim against the man.
CINCINNATI — A Kuwaiti car dealer in a March 22 appellant brief urges the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to find that the Motor Vehicle Franchise Contract Arbitration Fairness Act (the Fairness Act) applies to foreign dealers and that a district court reversibly erred by ordering it to arbitrate breach of contract claims against Ford Motor Co. rather than first evaluating the claims’ arbitrability.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 19 granted motions for leave to intervene filed by the franchisor and franchisees in an appeal by two unions seeking review of the National Labor Relations Board’s orders in a joint employment dispute.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on March 22 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by two commercial cleaning business franchisees seeking resolution of a circuit split and a decision on whether a passing reference to a set of arbitration rules constitutes “clear and unmistakable” intent to delegate arbitrability issues to an arbitrator, rather than a court.
BRONX, N.Y. — A New York state court justice on Feb. 26 denied a motion to vacate a summary judgment upon default in favor of Dunkin' Donuts Franchising LLC, ruling that the action in a case alleging personal injuries from a fall in a driveway used by several businesses lacked merit against Dunkin'.
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on March 17 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract lawsuit brought by the owners of more than 120 franchise locations under the brands Wendy's, T.G.I. Friday's, Marriott and Hilton, finding that the insureds’ “general statements that the COVID-19 virus was on surfaces and in the air at their properties is insufficient to show property loss or damage.”
NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on March 10 granted a motion for default judgment against a franchisee and its two individual members that did not respond to a lodging franchisor’s lawsuit, ordering them to pay $151,846.25 on claims that they breached their franchise agreement and the members’ guaranty by selling a hotel to a third party without prior consent and failing to pay liquidated damages and recurring fees.
CHICAGO — A fast food franchisor filed replies on March 8 in a federal court in Illinois supporting its motions to dismiss a racial discrimination action and to strike proposed class claims brought by two Black franchisees, arguing that the plaintiffs have failed to show intentional discrimination or that there was a nationwide conspiracy.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on March 8 dismissed with prejudice a blind man’s proposed class action alleging that the Arby’s fast food franchisor violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as state and local laws, for failing to provide gift cards in Braille.
GREENBELT, Md. — Two customers of Marriott International Inc. failed to allege facts establishing that injuries they experienced were fairly traceable to the hotel chain’s 2020 data breach, a Maryland federal judge ruled March 3, granting Marriott’s motion to dismiss their negligence and unfair competition claims for lack of standing.
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A pizza company argues in a March 15 brief that a case involving a putative class complaint over truck drivers’ cell phone expenses should be stayed pending appeal of the denial of its motion to compel arbitration because the appeal raises a “substantial issue . . . of first impression.”
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — On Feb. 24, the parties in a proposed class action over a sandwich chain franchisor’s contractual no-poach agreement filed a redacted version of an Illinois federal judge’s sealed decision to exclude a former employee’s expert report as methodologically flawed and admit two expert reports for the franchisor.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Following the death of the plaintiff in a putative class action disability access suit that was filed shortly before his death, a New York federal judge on March 9 rejected requests to stay the case so that an estate representative could be substituted in or a new plaintiff found to appear as class representative, dismissing an alleged violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim as moot and noting that “successful class certification motions in this Circuit in cases like this are few and far between.”
ATLANTA — A federal judge in Georgia on March 15 refused to dismiss an insurer’s lawsuit seeking to rescind a liability insurance policy and a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnity the owner, operator and franchisors of a Marietta, Ga., hotel against underlying sex trafficking claims but stayed discovery to see how prosecution of the underlying action proceeds.
BALTIMORE — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint on March 15 in a Maryland federal court accusing the owners of 12 IHOP franchises of subjecting female employees, including teenagers, to sexual harassment by the general manager of its Frederick, Md., location.
GALVESTON, Texas — A Texas federal judge on March 10 denied a motion for summary judgment in a wrongful death suit, finding that “a broad contractual right to control operative details” exposed a childcare center franchisor to vicarious liability for a franchisee’s alleged negligence.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 9 affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of an equipment rental company insured’s bad faith failure-to-settle lawsuit against its insurer, noting that the Georgia Supreme Court has interpreted nearly identical policy language as requiring a final underlying judgment or settlement before a party can bring a coverage suit.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A federal judge in Tennessee on March 10 found that the disgorged profits framework established in the Lanham Act can serve as the basis for an award of damages as a sanction for violation of an injunction, even without a first finding of liability under the statute.