Mealey's Franchise

  • March 27, 2023

    Burger Chain Asks 9th Circuit To Rehear No Coverage Ruling For Coronavirus Losses

    PASADENA, Calif. — In-N-Out Burgers filed a petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc challenging the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ March 10 ruling that affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of its breach of contract lawsuit against its commercial property insurer, arguing that the Ninth Circuit should correct or withdraw its ruling and stay the appeal pending the California Supreme Court’s answer to the Ninth Circuit’s certified question in Another Planet Entertainment, LLC v. Vigilant Ins. Co. to determine whether “the actual or potential presence of the COVID-19 virus on an insured's premises” constitutes “direct physical loss or damage to property” to trigger coverage under an insured’s commercial property insurance policy.

  • March 13, 2023

    Panel: Contamination Exclusion Bars Burger Chain’s Coverage For Coronavirus Losses

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 10 affirmed dismissal of In-N-Out Burgers’ breach of contract lawsuit against its commercial property insurer, finding that a policy’s contamination exclusion barred coverage for the insured’s losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • March 01, 2023

    Reinsurance Commutation Figures In Franchisee’s Negligence, Fraud Action

    JACKSON, Miss. — Alleging negligence, fraud and breach of fiduciary duties in connection with “a corporate insurance and risk management program promoted, created, and put in place by Defendants for Domino’s Pizza franchisees,” a franchisee sued a corporation, a limited liability company and the two individuals who are members of the latter in a Mississippi federal court.

  • March 01, 2023

    California Federal Judge Won’t Enjoin Franchisees From Trademark Use

    LOS ANGELES — A bid by a franchisor for an ex parte temporary restraining order (TRO) barring its former franchisees from using the “LeanFeast” trademark was denied by a federal judge in California, who said evidence of irreparable harm is lacking.

  • March 01, 2023

    Panel: No Triable Issue That COVID-19 In Hotel Caused Insured’s Alleged Lost Income

    SAN DIEGO — A California appeals court panel affirmed a summary judgment ruling in favor of a commercial insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit brought by the owner and operator of a 126-room Holiday Inn Express franchise in San Diego, finding that “there is no evidence creating a triable issue that COVID-19 in the hotel caused the claimed lost income.”

  • February 21, 2023

    Franchisee Tells 6th Circuit Approximation Of Drivers’ Expenses Is Appropriate

    CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should affirm a trial court’s ruling finding that a Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulation concerning an employer’s accounting for worker-provided supplies allows for “reasonable approximation” of vehicle-related expenses incurred by delivery drivers, a Domino’s Pizza franchisee argues in its appellee brief.

  • February 03, 2023

    EEOC Complaint Accuses Domino’s Franchise Of Race-Based Harassment

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Domino’s Pizza franchisee in Olean, N.Y., violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting Black workers to mistreatment by managers, including the regular use of racial slurs and threats, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in a complaint filed Feb. 2 in a federal court in New York.

  • January 23, 2023

    Insured Failed To Provide Timely Notice Of Deadly Shooting, CGL Insurer Argues

    NEWNAN, Ga. — A commercial general liability insurer filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit in a federal court in Georgia challenging coverage for a wrongful death/premises liability lawsuit brought against a Quality Inn & Suites, arguing that the insured failed to provide timely notice of the shooting that prompted the underlying action.

  • January 09, 2023

    7-Eleven’s Claims For Attorney Fees Denied In Franchisee Classification Dispute

    BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts allowed a cross-motion for summary judgment by 7-Eleven Inc. franchisees on counterclaims and third-party claims of breach of contract and indemnity by the franchisor in a dispute over the proper classification for the franchisees.

  • January 09, 2023

    McDonald’s Franchisee Settles EEOC Sex Harassment Suit For Nearly $2 Million

    LAS VEGAS — A nearly $2 million settlement in a sexual harassment lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to be paid by the owners of more than a dozen McDonald’s franchised restaurants was approved by a federal judge in Nevada.

  • December 14, 2022

    9th Circuit:  7-Eleven Franchisees Properly Deemed Independent Contractors

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s determination in two putative class lawsuits that 7-Eleven franchisees are independent contractors and not employees, ruling that while the court erred in refusing to consider claims accrued after 2020 under the “ABC test” adopted in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, the “error was harmless.”

  • December 12, 2022

    Deadline Set For Renewed Settlement Motion In Marriott Wage Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California ordered the lead plaintiff in a wage-and-hour case against Marriott International Inc. to file a renewed motion for preliminary approval of a class settlement by Dec. 28 after the employee refiled his previously dismissed class claims.

  • December 05, 2022

    Pizza Delivery Driver Appeals Ruling Allowing Approximation Of Expenses

    CINCINNATI — A trial court erred when it concluded that a Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulation concerning an employer’s accounting for worker provided supplies is ambiguous but allows for “reasonable approximation” through other incorporated regulations as those other regulations were not actually incorporated, a pizza delivery driver argues in an appellant brief filed in his interlocutory appeal in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • December 01, 2022

    TGI Friday’s Dismissed From Class Suit Over Labeling On Licensed Snack Sticks

    CHICAGO — A restaurant franchisor that licenses its logo to a company that packs and distributes snack sticks at the center of a putative class complaint over the labeling was dismissed as a defendant after a federal judge in Illinois ruled that the franchisor wasn’t shown to be liable; however, the judge denied requests by the defendants to strike the proposed nationwide class and to dismiss two of the three claims being made.

  • November 29, 2022

    EEOC Announces Circle K Will Pay $8M To Settle Bias, Retaliation Charges

    PHOENIX — Circle K Stores Inc. will pay $8 million to resolve multiple charges of discrimination and retaliation filed against it and related entities by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency announced Nov. 29.

  • November 17, 2022

    Panel: Restaurant Owner’s Claimed Losses Did Not Involve Tangible Change To Property

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 17 affirmed a lower federal court’s judgment in favor of a commercial insurer in its lawsuit disputing coverage for the owner and operator of a network of nearly 80 restaurants throughout the country, finding that the insured failed to identify direct physical loss of or damage to its property to trigger coverage for business losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • November 17, 2022

    $2.35M Dickey’s Barbecue Data Breach Class Settlement Preliminarily Approved

    DALLAS — A federal judge in Texas adopted a magistrate judge’s findings and recommendations and preliminarily approved a $2.35 million all-cash, nonreversionary settlement by Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. to end several consolidated data breach class complaints.

  • November 15, 2022

    9th Circuit: Jan-Pro Can’t Appeal Franchisees’ Class Cert In Classification Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a petition by a cleaning service franchisor seeking permission to appeal a class certification order in a lawsuit by franchisees alleging misclassification as contractors.

  • November 07, 2022

    Planet Fitness Pays Former CFO After Interest On Verdict Recalculated

    SALEM, Mass. — The owner and operator of Planet Fitness health clubs, its franchisor subsidiary and executives satisfied the multimillion dollar judgment in a fraud lawsuit brought by the former chief financial officer (CFO), according to a docket entry in a Massachusetts court.

  • November 03, 2022

    4th Circuit: No Coverage For Anytime Fitness Franchise Owners’ COVID-19 Losses

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 2 affirmed a Virginia federal court’s dismissal of a group of Anytime Fitness franchise owners’ amended class complaint seeking coverage for the negative impact on their businesses caused by government shutdown orders issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • November 03, 2022

    $810,000 In Class Settlements Approved In Domino’s Delivery Drivers’ Wage Suit

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two sets of Domino’s Pizza franchise operators agreed in separate settlement agreements approved by a federal judge in Ohio to pay a total of $810,000 to end a class and collective complaint by a delivery driver who claimed that the flat per-delivery reimbursement he and other drivers received resulted wages that did not meet minimum and overtime requirements.

  • November 01, 2022

    Domino’s New England Franchisee Settles Delivery Drivers’ Wage Claims For $250,000

    PORTLAND, Maine — A Domino’s franchisee with locations in Maine and Connecticut will pay $250,000 to end collective and class claims by delivery drivers who alleged that they were not sufficiently reimbursed for their own delivery expenses, according to a class settlement agreement approved by a federal judge in Maine.

  • October 31, 2022

    Jury Awards Fast-Food Worker Class, Plaintiffs More Than $5.3M On Wage Claims

    PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal jury in Oregon issued a verdict for a class of fast-food workers bringing various wage claims, awarding the class more than $5.3 million on a claim of improper deductions of the Worker’s Benefit Fund (WBF) assessment and thousands in penalty wages for class members who received a late final paycheck after their restaurant was transferred to a franchise operator.

  • October 24, 2022

    Class Settlement Approval Denied In Calif. Wage Case After Class Claims Dismissed

    LOS ANGELES — Preliminary approval of a $375,000 class settlement can’t be provided after the lead plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his proposed class claims approximately a year ago, a federal judge in California ruled in a wage-and-hour case brought by an employee against Marriott International Inc.

  • October 17, 2022

    U.S. High Court Vacates, Remands Domino’s Truck Drivers’ Suit Due To Saxon

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 17 granted a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by Domino’s Pizza LLC in a case by truck drivers who allege that because the products they transport originate from out of state, they are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) under Section 1 as transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce and remanded to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of the ruling in Southwest Airlines Co. v. Saxon.

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