WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 10 requested a response to a petition for a writ of certiorari by Domino’s Pizza LLC asking the justices to decide whether truck drivers making in-state deliveries are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) under Section 1 as transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce.
RICHMOND, Va. — Finding “no reversible error,” the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 11 affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissal of 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.
DAYTON, Ohio — A $1.5 million class settlement in a lawsuit accusing a pizza shop franchisee and others of improper reimbursement for delivery drivers’ vehicle expenses was granted final approval by a federal judge in Ohio on Aug. 2.
OAKLAND, Calif. — The remaining lead plaintiff accusing a sandwich franchisor in a putative class complaint of labeling its tuna salad, sandwiches and wraps as “100% tuna” while failing to prevent adulteration filed an amended class complaint on July 28 in a federal court in California.
MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on July 31 awarded a franchisor $271,250 in connection with allegations that a franchisee continued to use the “Navaka” trademark after an implied license between the parties was rescinded.
LOS ANGELES — Following a second notice of settlement filed by Domino’s Pizza LLC and a blind customer that sued for violation of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), a California federal judge on June 21 granted the parties’ motion to dismiss with prejudice the long-running suit over website accessibility.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Claims by one of two plaintiffs accusing a sandwich franchisor in a putative class complaint 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 and “encouraging mixing or allowing non-tuna ingredients to make their way into the Tuna Products” were dismissed with prejudice on July 8 by a federal judge in California, who determined that the plaintiff failed to allege that she ever purchased the items in question or was harmed in any way.
BURLINGTON, Vt. — A Vermont-based McDonald’s franchisee that operates 10 restaurants in two states will pay $1.6 million and provide other relief to end a lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that a class of employees was sexually harassed by one location’s night shift manager, after a federal judge in Vermont filed a text-only order on June 30 approving a consent decree between the parties.
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington issued an order on June 28 approving a consent decree under which two hotels operators will pay $370,000 to settle claims by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that they permitted a male manager to sexually harass two female housekeepers.
DAYTON, Ohio — A pizza delivery driver who sued a pizza shop franchisee and others for improper reimbursement of vehicle expenses filed a motion on June 23 in a federal court in Ohio seeking final approval of a $1.5 million class settlement.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Domino’s Pizza LLC filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on June 15 after being granted a one-month extension and asked the justices to decide whether pizza delivery drivers making in-state deliveries are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) under Section 1 as transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce.
DETROIT — Female employees of a McDonald’s franchisee who allege physical and verbal harassment by a manager filed a motion on June 6 in a federal court in Michigan seeking final approval of a $1.5 million class settlement, and their counsel moved the same day for attorney fees, expenses and $10,000 service awards for each of the named plaintiffs.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 2 affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of judgment on the pleadings in favor of a commercial property insurer in a coronavirus coverage dispute, finding that the losses incurred by the owners and operators of four Florida Planet Fitness franchise locations did not constitute “direct physical loss of or damage to” their property.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced May 31 that it reached a settlement agreement with a McDonald’s franchisee to resolve claims that the operator of four California restaurants discriminated against non-U.S. citizens when demanding unnecessary documentation.
SAN FRANCISCO — A previous award of $2.6 million in attorney fees following a class settlement by a massage and skin care franchisor accused of violating its membership agreement by periodically increasing membership fees was reduced to $938,026.22 in May 24 order by a federal judge in California following a ruling by a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the settlement was a coupon settlement under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA); the judge deferred the award of any additional fees until after the expiration of the redemption period.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 24 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling 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, finding that there is no coverage available “for the type of purely economic damages” the insured sought under the policy.
LOS ANGELES — Despite finding that a franchisor demonstrates some likelihood of success on allegations that a former franchisee continues to infringe the “Pinkberry” trademark, a federal judge in California on May 20 denied entry of preliminary injunctive relief in the case.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Calling the Federal Communications Commission’s 2003 expansion of private right of action for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to include cell phones “unauthorized,” a federal judge in Florida on May 18 stated that the FCC’s rules and regulations must nonetheless be enforced and declined to dismiss a putative class complaint based on thousands of allegedly unsolicited text message ads for a sandwich shop chain sent to cell phones, some of which were on the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry.
PHOENIX — A federal judge in Arizona on May 9 approved a consent decree between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a Subway franchisee under which the employer will pay $30,000 and provide other relief, including training, to end a complaint alleging failure to accommodate an employee with autism.
BOSTON — A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 25 vacated a trial court’s summary judgment ruling for 7-Eleven Inc. in a putative class complaint by franchisees alleging misclassification and remanded for further proceedings in light of a recent ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court that the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law (ICL) applies to the franchisor-franchisee relationship.