Mealey's Franchise

  • April 08, 2020

    Former Convenience Store Owner Settles With EEOC Over No Accommodations

    ST. LOUIS — The former owner of 7-Eleven stores in Oklahoma will pay $160,000 to nine former employees to end a lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by firing workers who missed more than three days of work and didn’t qualify for leave, according to a consent decree approved April 7 by a federal judge in Oklahoma (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Brown-Thompson General Partnership, No. 16-1142, W.D. Okla.).

  • April 07, 2020

    Judge Allows Former Franchise To Amend Claim For Fraud In Inducement

    ST. LOUIS — A federal judge in Missouri on April 3 granted in part motions by the franchisor of a virtual health care platform, its founder and a former senior vice-president of sales and marketing to dismiss a claim for fraud in the inducement with leave for a former franchisee to amend portions of the claim as well as other claims (Charles Fabius, et al. v. Medinexo USA, LLC, et al., No. 19-2526, E.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59029).

  • April 07, 2020

    Labor Secretary’s Privilege Assertions Upheld By Judge In FLSA Suit Discovery

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A janitorial franchisor sued by the U.S. secretary of Labor for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations failed to overcome assertions of the informant’s and deliberative-process privileges in the redaction of documents related to the investigation of employee and franchisee designations, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled April 2, denying the franchisor’s motion to compel (Eugene Scalia, et al. v. Jani-King of Oklahoma, Inc., No. 5:16-cv-00113, W.D. Okla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59479).

  • April 06, 2020

    Judge: Shooting Victim Is Unable To Impose Duty Under Franchise Agreement

    MINNEAPOLIS — A shooting victim cannot rely on a bar’s franchise agreement to impose a duty upon the bar’s parent company and a management services company for their alleged role in events surrounding a shooting outside the bar, a Minnesota federal judge ruled April 2 (D’Andre I. Alexander v. 1328 Uptown, Inc., et al., No. 18-1544, D. Minn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58152).

  • April 03, 2020

    Coverage For Arbitration Awards Against Franchisor Not Excluded, Federal Judge Says

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A federal judge in Tennessee on March 31 held that a professional liability insurer has failed to demonstrate that policy exclusions apply to bar coverage for arbitration awards for breach of contract claims, attorney fees or arbitration costs entered against a franchisor insured, denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (For Senior Help, LLC v. Westchester Fire Insurance Company, No. 19-cv-00126, M.D. Tenn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56057).

  • April 02, 2020

    Dismissal Of Deceptive Marketing Suit Against Dunkin’ Donuts Upheld

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 31 affirmed dismissal of a lawsuit against Dunkin’ Donuts alleging deceptive marketing of two breakfast sandwiches because a reasonable consumer would not have expected an “intact” piece of “Angus beef” (Chufen Chen, et al. v. Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., et al., No. 18-3087, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 9979).

  • April 01, 2020

    Panel:  Agreed Limitation Provision Bars Franchisor’s Equitable Relief Lawsuit

    DENVER — A franchisor and its franchisee are barred from seeking equitable relief based upon an agreed limitation in their cannabis franchise agreement, a Colorado appeals panel held March 26, affirming dismissal of the lawsuit seeking injunctive relief and specific performance with regard to a purchase offer by a third-party (Jushi FL SPV, LLC v. San Felasco Nurseries, Inc., Nos. 18CA1817 & 18CA2324, Colo. App., Div. 4, 2020 Colo. App. LEXIS 688).

  • March 31, 2020

    Employee Fails To Add GEICO To Discrimination Suit Against Its Franchisee

    NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal magistrate judge on March 25 denied an employee’s motion to add Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) to his discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against a franchised third-party vendor of GEICO because there are no specific allegations that GEICO asserts control over the franchisee (Nasser Saleh v. Egglinger Insurance Agency, LLC, et al., No. 19-13944, D. N.J., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51350).

  • March 30, 2020

    Most Of Franchisor’s Claims Against Nissan Allowed To Proceed

    NEW ALBANY, Ind. — An Indiana automobile dealership’s declaratory judgment claim regarding the Indiana Deceptive Franchise Practices Act is allowed to proceed against Nissan North America Inc. (NNA), an Indiana federal judge ruled March 26, granting in part and denying in part the automotive maker’s motion to dismiss (Coyle Nissan, LLC v. Nissan North America, Inc., No. 18-75, S.D. Ind., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52531).

  • March 26, 2020

    Corporate Franchisees Sold Away Their Claims Against Window Supplier, Judge Says

    STATESVILLE, N.C. — When corporate franchisees sold their business assets years before their owner filed a dispute with a window supplier, they sold their fraud claims, a North Carolina federal judge held March 25, granting summary judgment to Window World Inc. (Mike Bendfeldt, et al. v. Window World, Inc., No. 17-39, W.D. N.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52015).

  • March 26, 2020

    Federal Judge Dismisses Employees’ Antitrust Case Against Burger King

    MIAMI — Without sufficient allegations that Burger King Corp. and its franchisees “are separate economic actors for antitrust purposes,” a federal judge in Florida on March 24 dismissed employees’ antitrust lawsuit against the hamburger fast food chain and its franchisees (Jarvis Arrington, et al. v. Burger King Worldwide, Inc., et al., No. 18-24128, S.D. Fla.).

  • March 23, 2020

    No Reconsideration For Sprint Over Junk Fax Prevention Act Claims

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on March 19 refused to reconsider his denial of summary judgment to Sprint Solutions Inc. on a motel’s federal law claims under the Junk Fax Prevention Act over unsolicited fax advertisements (Gorss Motels Inc. v. Sprint Communications Company, L.P. et al., No. 17-546, D. Conn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47592).

  • March 19, 2020

    Federal Judge Transfers Franchise Referral Company’s Breach Of Contract Case

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Feb. 21 transferred a franchise referral company’s breach of contract and unjust enrichment lawsuit to a Colorado federal court because the court lacks general and specific personal jurisdiction (The Franchise Consulting Company, Inc. v. Crestcom International, LLC, No. 19-22216, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31391).

  • March 19, 2020

    Judge Awards 7-Eleven $159,566.78 Judgment Against Former Franchisee

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 4 awarded $159,566.78 to 7-Eleven Inc. on its breach of contract and breach of guaranty counterclaims against a former franchisee (Anthony Chong, et al. v. 7-Eleven, Inc., 18-1542, E.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39402).

  • March 18, 2020

    Judge: Sex Trafficking Suit Allowed To Proceed Against Best Western

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Allegations that Best Western International Inc. and its hotel franchisee were aware of sex trafficking occurring on their properties may proceed, a federal judge in Ohio ruled March 16, denying motions to dismiss brought by the hotels (Jane Doe S.W. v. Lorain-Elyria Motel, Inc., et al., No. 19-1194, S.D. Ohio, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44961).

  • March 17, 2020

    Domino’s Franchisee’s Motion To File Wage Settlement Under Seal Denied

    JONESBORO, Ark. — A federal judge in Arkansas on March 13 denied an unopposed motion by a Domino’s Pizza franchisee with locations in Arkansas and Missouri to file a wage collective and class settlement that it reached with delivery drivers under seal and directed the parties to file unredacted documents within 10 days on the public docket if they wish to continue with the settlement (James Ewing v. Pizza Czar Inc., et al., No. 19-232, E.D. Ark., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43617).

  • March 17, 2020

    In Michigan, Fabricator’s Franchise Claims Against Countertop Maker Tossed

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Allegations of breach of contract and violations of a state franchise law by a countertop fabricator and seller against a popular quartz countertop maker will not proceed in Michigan, a federal judge ruled March 13 (Lakeside Surfaces Inc. v. Cambria Company LLC, No. 18-110, W.D. Mich., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43727).

  • March 16, 2020

    Subway Will Appeal Arbitration Denial In TCPA Class Complaint

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust Ltd. filed a notice of appeal on March 13, just over a week after a federal judge in Connecticut denied its motion to compel arbitration in a class complaint alleging that it sent unwanted text messages in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Marina Soliman v. Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust Ltd., et al., No. 19-592, D. Conn.).

  • March 16, 2020

    Judge Enjoins Franchisor From Arbitrating Claims In Ohio, Dismisses UCL Claim

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on March 12 entered a preliminary injunction barring arbitration proceedings in a federal court in Ohio between Matco Tools Corp. and two franchisees who complain that they are being wrongfully treated as independent contractors as opposed to employees, finding that the plaintiffs presented sufficient evidence of the likelihood of success on their argument that provisions in a distribution agreement between the parties may render it unenforceable (Emanuel Aguilera, et al. v. Matco Tools Corp., No. 19-01576, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43283).

  • March 09, 2020

    Magistrate Judge Issues Vast Ruling In Franchise Dispute Over Fruit Bouquets

    NEW YORK — A federal magistrate judge in New York on Feb. 21 issued an expansive ruling in a franchise dispute between franchisees in Florida and Arizona against 1-800-Flowers.Com Inc. over agreements governing the sales of fruit bouquets, finding that there are genuine disputes regarding the New York State Franchise Sales Act (FSA), breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and Arizona Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) (Arizona Family Florists LLC, et al. v. 1-800-Flowers.Com Inc., et al., No. CV 16-2638, E.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31389).

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