SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on June 20 denied a motion for leave to amend a complaint in a nearly decade-old lawsuit to add current franchisees as plaintiffs alongside former franchisees to allow for adequate representation of a proposed class accusing a janitorial service franchisor of using its franchising system to actually misclassify employees as independent contractors (Alejandro Juarez, et al. v. Jani-King of California, Inc., et al., No. 09-3495, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103632).
INDIANAPOLIS — Saying that generally “it is improper to grant summary judgment when requests for discovery are pending,” the Indiana Court of Appeals on June 19 reversed a trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of McDonald’s Corp. and remanded for further proceedings a case involving a boy who was injured when he fell from a stool at a McDonald’s restaurant (C.D.Q., et al. v. McDonald’s Corp., No. 18A-CT-2109, Ind. App.; 2019 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 758).
MIAMI — A former franchisee on June 18 moved for a Florida federal court to reconsider its order a day earlier granting a motion for preliminary injunction that bars it from using Tim Hortons trademarks or service marks and from representing the restaurants as authorized Tim Hortons restaurants (Tim Hortons USA, Inc., States, et al. v. Tims Milner LLC, et al., No. 18-cv-24152, S.D. Fla.; 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100978).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware chancellor on June 4 agreed to dismiss various counterclaims raised in a dispute between two former business partners in a bottling franchise for The Coca-Cola Co. (Coca-Cola Beverages Florida Holdings v. Reginald Goins, No. 2018-243, Del. Chanc., 2019 Del. Ch. LEXIS 213).
SAN FRANCICO — A franchiser seeks panel rehearing or rehearing en banc from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on its holding that the franchisor is liable for alleged wage-and-hour violations of its franchisees unless the franchisor can disprove each element of the “ABC test” adopted by the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court (Gerardo Vazquez, et al. v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., No. 17-16096, 9th Cir.).
WICHITA, Kan. —Taco Bell Corp. on June 14 asked a Kansas federal court to dismiss a minor child’s negligence claim because that claim “is nothing more than an attempt to circumvent the fact that, as a franchisor,” it is not liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for the sex discrimination and harassment alleged against the actual employer, the franchisee (N.T., a minor child, through next friend J.T. v. Taco Bell Corp., et al., No. 19-01028, D. Kan.).
CHICAGO — Noting reasons given in an earlier ruling by a retired judge on a gourmet sandwich franchisor’s motion to dismiss, a federal judge in Illinois on May 21 denied the franchisor’s renewed motion to dismiss claims for violations of the Sherman Act because the franchisor failed to show that there was any clear error in the previous order (Donald Conrad v. Jimmy John’s Franchise LLC, et al., No. 18-00133, S.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94411).
TRENTON, N.J. — On remand from the New Jersey Supreme Court, a state appeals panel on June 13 again affirmed an earlier decision that invalidated an arbitration clause in an agreement to participate at a trampoline park franchise, rejecting franchisor defendants’ argument that reconsideration of its prior decision is warranted because the arbitration clause is enforceable under two New Jersey rulings (Alexander Defina v. Go Ahead and Jump 1, LLC, et al., No. A-1861-17T2, N.J. Super, App., Div.).
MIAMI — Franchisors of retail stores on June 11 filed a petition in a Florida federal court to confirm a $5,101,194.67 international arbitral award issued in their favor over the breach of a franchise agreement for the operation of retail stores in Panama, Columbia and Costa Rica (GPS Strategic Alliances LLC, et al. v. Superior Retail, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-cv-22407, S.D. Fla.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 7 upheld a district court’s ruling that a franchisor’s consignors, who worked shifts at consignment sales, are employees rather than volunteers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) after determining that the U.S. Department of Labor considered all the relevant factors, including whether the workers had an expectation of compensation in exchange for their services (Rhea Lana, et. al. v. United States Department of Labor, No. 17-5259, D.C. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17122).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Tesla automobile owner lacks constitutional standing to bring a lawsuit alleging that South Carolina laws are harmful and favor franchised car dealers, a South Carolina federal judge ruled June 6 because the car owner has not shown an injury in fact, traceability or redressability, which are the required elements to confer constitutional standing (Austin Meyer v. Henry McMaster, et al., No. 19-00173, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95123).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — In a June 4 ruling, a New York federal judge endorsed a magistrate judge’s earlier recommendation that a former Subway franchisee should be barred from any further use of the “Subway” trademarks and a related, copyrighted mural (Doctor’s Associates LLC, et al. v. Abdul Hai, No. 19-1968, E.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95417).
CHICAGO — A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 7 reversed a ruling dismissing a man’s age discrimination and retaliation suit against his former employer, holding that he sufficiently named his employer in his Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge and that the commission’s error in processing his charge does not bar his ability to file suit (Humberto Trujillo v. Rockledge Furniture LLC, Nos. 18-3349, 19-1651, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17135).
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on May 28 denied dismissal of a gas station operator’s case because the operator alleges the existence of a violation of the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (PMPA) through two sections of a sale contract (Abe & Nahed Inc. v. Global Companies LLC, et al., No. 18-12425, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89428).
TEXARKANA, Texas — A Texas appeals panel on June 5 overturned a lower court’s ruling vacating an arbitration award in favor of Choice Hotel International Inc., finding that there was no reason to vacate the award and order arbitration through a private alternative dispute resolution provider (Choice Hotels International Inc. v. Onkar Lodging Inc., et al., No. 06-18-00074-CV, Texas App., 6th Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 4591).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on June 4 dismissed claims for violations under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (PMPA) because a gas station has not taken any steps to terminate the franchise and, thus, has no claim under the PMPA (Hopkinton Friendly Service Inc. v. Global Companies LLC, et al., No. 18-11977, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93864).
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 30 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that confirmed a $1.35 million arbitration award in favor of Ford Motor Co. in a Kuwaiti company’s lawsuit alleging that it was not bound to arbitrate whether Ford acted properly in terminating the parties’ resale agreement (Arabian Motors Group, W.L.L. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 18-1748, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 16121).
CINCINNATI — A fast-pitch softball league failed to demonstrate “a clear and indisputable right to the relief it seeks,” the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 21, denying the league’s request to stay a ruling granting defendant franchisees’ motion to compel discovery (In re NPF Franchising LLC,No. 19-3242,6th Cir.,2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15083).
DALLAS — A Texas federal judge on May 29 denied plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order in their lawsuit against a franchisor for cell phone and electronic device retail stores, finding that they failed to “clearly” demonstrate that the substantial threat of injury is “immediate and irreparable” to warrant the temporary restraining order (All Tech Repairs, Inc., et al. v. MMI-CPR, LLC, No. 19-1051, N.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89516).
NEWARK, N.J. — A tax preparation franchisor and its wholly owned subsidiary filed a motion on May 27 in a New Jersey federal court to dismiss a putative class complaint by seasonal tax preparers who are challenging the franchisor’s no-poach agreements, arguing that the plaintiffs lack standing, their claims are time-barred and the relationships between the franchisor and franchisees don’t create an actionable conspiracy under the Sherman Act (Jessica Robinson, et al. v. Jackson Hewitt, Inc., et al., No. 19-9066, D. N.J.).