Mealey's Franchise

  • May 24, 2024

    $30M Settlement Between Jan-Pro, Franchisees Granted Final Approval

    SAN FRANCISCO — A $30 million wage-and-hour settlement between Jan-Pro Franchising International Inc. and California cleaning franchisees in a case in which the franchisees alleged that they were misclassified was granted final approval on May 23 by a federal judge in California, who also partially granted and partially denied a motion for attorney fees and service awards.

  • May 23, 2024

    6 Golden Corral Data Breach Suits Consolidated In North Carolina Federal Court

    RALEIGH, N.C.  — Citing “judicial economy” and avoiding “the risk of inconsistent rulings,” a North Carolina federal judge granted a motion to consolidate six putative negligence class actions over a 2023 data breach experienced by Golden Corral Corp., which exposed the personally identifiable information (PII) of the buffet restaurant chain’s employees.

  • May 22, 2024

    On Reconsideration, Judge Dismisses Implied Indemnity Claim Under State Law

    JACKSON, Miss. — Granting a motion for reconsideration and dismissing a third-party complaint with prejudice in a dispute involving a franchisee and commutation of reinsurance, a Mississippi federal judge ruled that “[t]he implied indemnity claim necessarily fails under Mississippi law because it does not seek indemnification for passive negligence.”

  • May 17, 2024

    Burger King Franchisee Seeks Summary Judgment In BIPA Violations Coverage Suit

    CHICAGO — A franchisee of the Burger King chain moved for summary judgment in its breach of contract lawsuit asking an Illinois federal judge to declare that an excess insurer has a duty to defend it against an underlying putative class lawsuit alleging that it violated the Illinois Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA).

  • May 16, 2024

    6 Firms Named Co-Lead Class Counsel In Realty Commissions Conspiracy Case

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A federal judge in Missouri granted a motion to appoint six law firms as interim co-lead class counsel in a consolidated case by home sellers accusing the National Association of Realtors (NAR), real estate franchises and brokers of violating the Sherman Act by entering into an agreement to artificially inflate the cost of commissions in residential real estate transactions; the appointment comes on the heels of a notice of a pending settlement filed by one of the defendants, Redfin Corp.

  • May 14, 2024

    Commissions Settlements With 3 Real Estate Franchises Granted Final Approval

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A federal judge in Missouri issued an order granting final approval of three settlements totaling $208.5 million between home sellers and three of the real estate franchises found by a jury to have conspired to artificially inflate the cost of commissions in residential real estate transactions.

  • May 01, 2024

    Individual Settlement Reached In Papa John’s Website Data Collection Class Suit

    SAN DIEGO — A consumer who filed a putative class complaint accusing Papa John’s International Inc. of violating the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA) through the interception and collection of users’ data on a pizza-ordering webpage filed a notice in a federal court in California stating that he reached an individual settlement.

  • May 01, 2024

    California Chick-fil-A Delivery Price Class Suit Dismissed After Settlement In Ga.

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Chick-fil-A Inc. and a customer who brought a class complaint over the fast food company’s delivery prices filed a joint stipulation of dismissal with prejudice in a federal court in California after the claims were resolved as part of a settlement approved by a Georgia court in February; the California case had been stayed pending settlement since October 2022.

  • April 30, 2024

    Compass, Douglas Elliman, Others Agree To Settle Commissions Conspiracy Claims

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Home sellers accusing the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and a number of real estate franchisors and brokers of violating the Sherman Act by entering into an agreement to artificially inflate the cost of commissions in residential real estate transactions filed a motion in a federal court in Missouri on April 29 seeking preliminary approval of an up to $96 million settlement with five of the named defendants.

  • April 30, 2024

    HomeServices To Settle Commissions Claims On Heels Of NAR $418M Agreement

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The deadlines and proceedings in a real estate commission conspiracy class lawsuit in a federal court in Missouri that are related to HomeServices of America Inc., BHH Affiliates and HSF Affiliates LLC (together, HomeServices) were stayed in an April 29 docket entry, one business day after HomeServices filed a notice of pending settlement and joint motion to stay; HomeServices’ settlement announcement came three days after a $418 million settlement by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) was preliminarily approved.

  • April 29, 2024

    High Court Won’t Decide ‘Average’ Class Damages Issue In Chili’s Data Breach Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A question about the propriety of using an “average” damages amount suggested by the plaintiffs’ damages expert to certify a class will go unheard by the U.S. Supreme Court, which in its April 29 order list denied a petition for certiorari by the owner of the Chili’s restaurant chain, which protested the possibility that customers who suffered no damages at all in a 2018 data breach would still receive these damages awards.

  • April 25, 2024

    PPP Borrower Appeals SBA Denial Of Loan Forgiveness Based On Initial Ineligibility

    AMARILLO, Texas — In a lawsuit brought by a truck dealer against the federal government challenging the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) determination that the dealer was not initially eligible for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and thus ineligible for loan forgiveness, the truck dealer on April 24 filed a notice of appeal to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a Texas federal judge’s rulings upholding the SBA’s decision and denying the dealer’s motion to alter or amend the opinion.

  • April 22, 2024

    U.S. High Court Denies Domino’s FAA Petition In Truck Drivers’ Expenses Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 22 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by Domino’s Pizza LLC after the company’s truck drivers (D&S drivers) were found by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to be exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in their class case alleging unreimbursed business expenses and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • April 17, 2024

    Centralization Of Cases Challenging Real Estate Commissions Denied By JPMDL

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) declined to centralize nine cases pending in seven districts brought on behalf of classes of home sellers alleging that rules governing buyer broker compensation violate antitrust laws, opining that pending nationwide class settlements in another case may resolve some of the claims in the nine cases.

  • April 17, 2024

    Jack In The Box Workers Partially Awarded Attorney Fees, Costs In Wage Suit

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Motions for attorney fees and costs by both sides in a wage-and-hour suit brought by a class of Jack in the Box Inc. workers who saw some success with their claims were partially granted and partially denied by a federal judge in Oregon who ruled that the workers were entitled to a portion of the attorney fees and costs they sought and that the employer was entitled to no attorney fees but was entitled to a portion of the amount it sought for witness fees and other costs.

  • April 15, 2024

    U.S. High Court Denies Petition In Real Estate Commissions Class Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 15 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by a real estate franchisor sued as part of an antitrust class action by home sellers over commission and asking the justices to decide whether a court or an arbitrator should decide a question of arbitrability.

  • April 04, 2024

    1 Arbitration Motion Deemed Withdrawn In Commission Case After Settlement

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois ruled that one motion to compel arbitration by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and three real estate franchisors in a class lawsuit over broker commissions was voluntarily withdrawn and terminated but that two others remain live following the filing of the parties’ joint status report requested by the judge after NAR announced that it will resolve nationwide claims for $418 million.

  • March 22, 2024

    Commission Case Parties Asked If Arbitration Motions Remain Live After Settlement

    CHICAGO — Parties in a class lawsuit over broker commissions were asked March 21 by a federal judge in Illinois to address whether several pending motions for arbitration filed by real estate franchisors remain live after the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced nearly a week earlier that it would resolve nationwide claims for $418 million.

  • March 21, 2024

    6th Circuit Vacates, Remands 2 Pizza Delivery Driver Suits On Calculating Costs

    CINCINNATI — A trial court that found that pizza delivery drivers should be reimbursed for their costs using a mileage rate published by the IRS and a trial court that found in a different case that pizza delivery drivers’ employers could reimburse drivers for their costs with a “reasonable approximation” both erred, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled, vacating both decisions and remanding for the courts to consider the appropriate regime to use given the difficulty of proof.

  • March 19, 2024

    U.S. Supreme Court Denies McDonald’s Petition In No-Poach Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on March 18 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by McDonald’s USA LLC and McDonald’s Corp. (together, McDonald’s) after a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held that the no longer enforced no-hire agreement between the fast food franchisor and its franchisees might violate antitrust laws.

  • March 06, 2024

    English Justice Denies Summary Judgment As To Coverage Issue In COVID-19 Suit

    LONDON — A justice of the High Court of England and Wales denied summary judgment to two restaurant chains on the issue of coverage for their business interruption losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic but granted summary judgment and permission to appeal the policy construction issue.

  • March 05, 2024

    Franchisees Seek Final Approval Of $30M Classification Settlement With Jan-Pro

    SAN FRANCISCO — California cleaning franchisees who sued Jan-Pro Franchising International Inc. alleging misclassification as independent contractors filed a motion in a federal court in California seeking final approval of a class settlement under which the franchisor will pay $30 million and make changes to its business practices.

  • February 28, 2024

    Judge: SBA Properly Denied Loan Forgiveness To PPP Borrower Not Initially Eligible

    AMARILLO, Texas — In a lawsuit brought by a truck dealer against the federal government challenging the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) determination that the dealer was not initially eligible for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and thus ineligible for loan forgiveness, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 27 denied the dealer’s motion to alter or amend his opinion upholding the SBA’s decisions, ruling that the SBA’s loan review process “protects taxpayers from footing the bill for loans issued to ineligible parties” and that the SBA was authorized to enact that process.

  • February 26, 2024

    Claims, Defendants Partially Dismissed In Homebuyers’ Commission Class Case

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois partially granted motions to dismiss filed by a real estate brokers trade association and real estate franchisors in a putative class complaint by homebuyers who accuse the defendants of conspiring over commission rates, resulting in homebuyers paying artificially inflated prices for residential real estate because a portion of the supracompetitive rates is incorporated into the sales price of homes.

  • February 15, 2024

    Bid For Reconsideration On Third-Party Implied Indemnity Claim Is Disputed

    JACKSON, Miss. — Domino’s Pizza LLC and related entities are seeking reconsideration of a ruling that a third-party claim for implied indemnity survives dismissal in a dispute involving a franchisee and commutation of reinsurance, and in an opposition brief, third-party plaintiffs tell a Mississippi federal court that this case differs from two the Domino’s entities cited.