Mealey's Franchise

  • February 16, 2022

    9th Circuit Denies Domino’s Rehearing Request In Truck Drivers’ Expenses Suit

    PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 15 denied a petition for rehearing by Domino’s Pizza LLC after the panel affirmed a trial court’s order denying the employer’s motion to compel arbitration in a putative class complaint by truck drivers asserting violations of California’s labor and unfair competition laws.

  • February 16, 2022

    $1.5M Settlement Preliminarily Approved In Pizza Drivers’ Reimbursement Suit

    DAYTON, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 9 granted preliminary approval to a $1.5 million settlement reached in a collective and class complaint by a pizza delivery driver accusing a pizza shop franchisee, her husband and her limited liability companies of improper reimbursement for vehicle expenses.

  • February 15, 2022

    June Trial Sought In Reopened Domino’s ADA Website Accessibility Suit

    LOS ANGELES — One month after Domino’s Pizza LLC and a blind man declared that their settlement negotiations had ultimately failed, despite having previously announced a possible agreement to settle claims that the pizza chain’s website is not equally accessible to visually impaired patrons, the parties jointly filed a report in California federal court on Jan. 21 stating that they had agreed on a date of June 7 for a jury trial in the reopened dispute over application of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) in cyberspace.

  • February 11, 2022

    Defenses, Discovery, Franchise Issues Addressed In ‘Law Tigers’ Trademark Suit

    CHICAGO — Resolving multiple motions by the parties in a lawsuit over the “Law Tigers” trademark, an Illinois federal judge on Feb. 8 struck the defendant’s unclean hands affirmative defense related to purported franchise law violations, while permitting discovery and depositions on relevant topics such as the likelihood of confusion.

  • February 08, 2022

    Providers Prevail On Aetna’s Fraud Counterclaims, But Can’t Secure Sanctions

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge in Oklahoma granted emergency care providers summary judgment on counterclaims alleging that a 36% upcoding rate constituted fraud but denied their motion alleging pretrial misconduct and seeking sanctions on Jan. 17.

  • February 07, 2022

    Taco Bell Franchisee Tells High Court A Delay In Seeking Arbitration Was Lawful

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — There is no “use-it-as-expeditiously-as-feasible-or-lose-it rule” when it comes to moving for arbitration so long as there is no violation of a clear deadline or prejudice to another pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), a Taco Bell franchisee argues in its respondent brief filed in a wage-and-hour dispute on Feb. 4 in the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • January 31, 2022

    Editor’s Note

    The journalists and staff of Mealey’s Litigation Reports are saddened by the passing of co-founder Michael P. Mealey. He was a respected member of the newsletter community, being named publisher of the year by the National Newsletter Association and president of the National Newsletter Association. Mike and Judy Mealey started Mealey Publications Inc. in 1984. As president, Mike grew the Mealey’s Litigation Report portfolio, introduced email news bulletins and electronic CD formats and launched a continuing legal education conference business. Mealey’s was sold to LexisNexis in 2000. We hope to carry on his journalistic curiosity and integrity in the titles we continue to publish today under his name.

  • January 27, 2022

    Insureds Ask 4th Circuit To Reverse Ruling Of No Physical Loss From COVID Shutdowns

    RICHMOND, Va. — A group of Anytime Fitness franchise owners appealing from a Virginia federal district court’s dismissal of their first amended class action complaint seeking coverage for the negative impact on their business caused by government shutdown orders issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic told the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in their Jan. 10 opening brief that the district court misinterpreted both the provisions of the insurance policy and the applicable law.

  • January 25, 2022

    Panel: Jurisdiction Lacking Over Stay Issued In Trademark Dispute

    ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 7 refused to weigh in on the merits of a Missouri judge’s stay of federal trademark infringement allegations by a window franchisor because the stay is neither a final order nor an appealable collateral interlocutory order.

  • January 25, 2022

    $2 Million Wage Statements Settlement By McDonald’s Operator Preliminarily Approved

    FRESNO, Calif. — Just over a week after declining to preliminarily approve a $2 million wage statements class and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) settlement by the operator of McDonald’s in California, a federal magistrate judge in California on Jan. 20 granted preliminary approval after the agreement and proposed class notice were revised, but noted concerns with the requested attorney fees.

  • January 25, 2022

    Franchise Groups’ Suit Challenging Calif. Independent Contractor Test Dismissed

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 12 dismissed a lawsuit by franchise interest groups and associations challenging the constitutionality of the state’s “ABC Test” to determine whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor, finding that the action was not ripe under Article III of the U.S. Constitution and that the constitutional claims fail on prudential ripeness grounds.

  • January 21, 2022

    Car Dealers Will Settle Claims They Fired A Worker After Cancer Diagnosis

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A consent decree between two national car dealers and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under which the dealers will pay $150,000 and hire a consultant to facilitate changes to their policies and training practices to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit was approved Jan. 19 by a federal judge in California.

  • January 21, 2022

    Domino’s Seeks Rehearing After Arbitration Denied In Truck Drivers Expenses Suit

    PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming a trial court’s order denying Domino’s Pizza LLC’s motion to compel arbitration in a putative class complaint by truck drivers asserting violations of California’s labor and unfair competition laws conflicts with Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court precedent, Domino’s argues in a Jan. 20 petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc.

  • January 20, 2022

    $2 Million Wage Statements Settlement By McDonald’s Operator Denied Approval

    FRESNO, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on Jan. 12 denied preliminary approval of a $2 million class and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) settlement by the operator of McDonald’s in California, finding issues in the agreement and proposed notice.

  • January 19, 2022

    Judge: Employment Related Practices Exclusion Bars Coverage For BIPA Violation Suit

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Jan. 7 granted a businessowners insurer’s motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying claims that its insured violated the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), finding that the policy’s “employment related practices” (ERP) exclusion precluded coverage.

  • January 13, 2022

    McDonald’s Franchisee Found To Have Violated NLRA By Failing To Recall Workers

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A McDonald’s franchisee violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it recalled or rehired employees who had been laid off due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic except for four workers who participated in a union organizing campaign in 2019, a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled Dec. 30.

  • January 07, 2022

    Employee, Amicus To High Court: Reverse 8th Circuit Arbitration Waiver Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — American Association for Justice filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 5 supporting arguments by the employee of a Taco Bell franchisee who tells the high court in her Dec. 30 petitioner brief that her employer forfeited its right to arbitration after waiting to file its motion in her wage-and-hour case until after failed settlement talks and that the ruling by the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority must be reversed.

  • January 06, 2022

    Hotel Franchisor, Franchisee To Turn Over Guest List In Carbon Monoxide Class Suit

    DENVER — A federal magistrate judge in Colorado on Jan. 3 directed the defendants in a lawsuit over an alleged carbon monoxide poisoning incident at a Boulder, Colo., hotel to turn over the list of guests during a weeklong period to three guests who filed a putative class complaint, rejecting the arguments by the franchisor, franchisee and other defendants that the guests’ privacy rights would be violated and that plaintiffs’ counsel may misuse the information.

  • January 05, 2022

    Class Certification Granted In Harassment Suit Against McDonald’s Franchisee

    DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Dec. 29 certified a class of female workers who sued a McDonald’s franchisee alleging that they were repeatedly physically and verbally harassed by a manager.

  • January 05, 2022

    Rehearing Request Time Extended After Arbitration Denial In Domino Drivers’ Suit

    PASADENA, Calif. — A request by a pizza franchisor for a 14-day extension to file a petition for rehearing was granted Jan. 3 by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, less than two weeks after the panel affirmed a trial court’s order denying the franchisor’s motion to compel arbitration in a putative class complaint by truck drivers asserting violations of California’s labor laws.

  • December 15, 2021

    Subway: Amended Class Claims Over Tuna Content Are Unsupported

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A sandwich franchisor accused 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” moved Dec. 8 for dismissal of the second amended complaint, arguing that the complaint fails to show any false or misleading representations or damage to the consumers.

  • December 14, 2021

    EEOC Accuses McDonald’s Franchise Of Failing To Hire Black Applicants

    MILWAUKEE — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint on Dec. 13 in a Wisconsin federal court accusing the operator of nine McDonald’s locations of violating federal law by failing to hire a class of Black applicants at its Milwaukee location.

  • December 14, 2021

    Black McDonald’s Franchisees Dismiss Bias, Fraud Claims Against Franchisor

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Dec. 13 terminated a putative class complaint accusing a fast food franchisor of steering Black franchisees to Black communities where white franchisees refused to operate restaurants due to higher overhead costs and employee turnover after both sides in the case filed a joint stipulation of dismissal with prejudice on Dec. 10.

  • December 14, 2021

    10th Circuit Affirms Franchisor Owed No Duty To Advise Franchisee’s Employee

    DENVER — A franchisor has no duty under Oklahoma law to protect a franchisee’s employee by advising her how to address her allegation that the franchisee sexually harassed her, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 8 in an unpublished order, affirming the dismissal of a negligent misrepresentation claim against the franchisor.

  • December 14, 2021

    On Heels Of Trial Win, Liquor Wholesaler Seeks $3.4M In Attorney Fees

    ST. LOUIS — In a Dec. 7 filing in Missouri federal court, a plaintiff who was recently awarded $11.75 million by jurors on its allegation that Mast-Jägermeister US Inc. (Jägermeister) violated Missouri franchise law when it terminated a distribution agreement without good cause moved for an award of $3.4 million in attorney fees, arguing that “there can be no dispute” that it is the prevailing party in the case.

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