Bryan Cave Franchise and Distribution Law group handles significant lawsuits and arbitrations from trial through final appeal. Here are a few of the recent published decisions in which we have delivered successful results for our clients:

  • AYU Global v. Sumitomo Corp., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 15,083 (Cal.App. 2013) (affirming dismissal of fraud claims, leading to dismissal of all claims by other 25 franchisees)
  • Pearland Rent A Car v. Avis Rent A Car System, Inc., (S.D. Tex. 2012) (dismissing breach of contract and discrimination claims)
  • AYU Global v. Sumitomo Corp., 2011 (Cal. Superior Court) (dismissing all contract, fraud, antitrust and concealment claims brought by franchisee tire dealers—bellwether case of 25 similar claims)
  • Duke v. Avis Rent a Car System, Inc. et al., 2010 WL 4706093 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.) (California Court of Appeal affirms trial court's ruling denying class certification to a group of agency operators who claimed that, contrary to their contractual agreements with Avis and Budget, they were employees and not independent contractors under California law).
  • Shakey's USA, Inc. v. Tutto's Pizza Corp. et al., 2009 WL 3211027 (E.D.Cal. 2009) and 2010 WL 14815 (E.D.Cal. 2010) (Permanent injunction and Lanham Act damages awarded to franchisor Shakey's where franchisee continued operating restaurant after the franchise agreement was terminated using Shakey's trademarks and trade secrets).
  • Laney v. Avis Rent A Car System, Inc., 2010 WL 723743 (S.D. Tex. 2010) (plaintiff's claims for race and gender discrimination, Family Medical Leave Act retaliation, wrongful termination and breach of contract dismissed due to plaintiff’s lack of standing)
  • Dark v. Hilton Hotels Corp. et al., 2009 WL 4548351 (Ct. App. 2d Dist.), Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 14,296 (franchisor not vicariously liable for franchisee’s alleged negligence and violation of California’s Unruh Act because there was no evidence that the franchisee and its employees were actual or ostensible agents of the franchisor)
  • Century Pacific, Inc. v. Hilton Hotels Corp., 2009 WL 4072087 (2d. Cir. 2009) (Second Circuit affirms trial court's ruling granting summary judgment in favor of Hilton on franchisee's fraud claims arising from the sale of the Red Lion hotel chain)
  • Exposito v. Hilton Hotels Corp. et al., Bus Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 14,071 (LASC 2008) (granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants and finding that a franchisor, its Chairman and its General Counsel were not liable for claims under California’s Unruh Act, Disabled Persons Act and Business and Professions Code § 17200 based on the alleged wrongdoing of franchisee)
  • Pearle Vision v. McNamee, 1:6cv312 (W.D. Ohio 2008) (dismissing claims for breach of franchise agreement because of franchisee’s prior material breach)
  • Century Pacific, Inc. v. Hilton Hotels Corp., 528 F.Supp.2d 206 (S.D.N.Y. 2007) (Hilton's sale of Red Lion chain gave rise to no franchisee legal claims)
  • Stites v. Promus Hotel Corporation et al., 2009 WL 189413 (Cal. App. 2d Dist.) (affirmed trial court’s dismissal of action in favor of franchisor and affirmed cost award of $422,487.00 in favor of the defendants; petition for review denied by California Supreme Court)
  • Douglass v. Super 8 Motels, Inc., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 13,283 (D.Wyo. 2006) (franchisor is not liable under Americans with Disabilities Act just because it identified defective instrumentality that later injured the plaintiff).
  • FF Orthotics, Inc. v. Good Feet, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 13,389 (Cal.App. 2006) (franchisor was not liable for price fixing or illegal tying claims).
  • Custom House v. Doubletree, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 13,067, ¶ 13,068 (Ariz. Sup. Ct. 2005) (after new owner adopted Hilton’s frequent guest reward program as new brand standard, franchisees were obligated to comply).
  • Days Inn Worldwide, Inc. v. Patel, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 13,085 (S.D. Cal. 2005) (Court grants motion for preliminary injunction against former franchisees who continued to display trademarks).
  • Ramada Franchise Systems, Inc. v. Kouza, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 13,282 (S.D.Cal. 2005) (no cure notice necessary after multiple disputes).
  • Asser v. Trading Places, Inc., 2004 WL 171598, 171601 (Cal. App.) (affirming no jurisdiction arising from operation of Internet website).
  • Century Pacific v. Hilton, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,800 (S.D.N.Y. 2004) (contractual choice of New York law did not invoke protection of New York Franchise Sales Act).
  • Adees v. Avis, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,702 (C.D. Cal. 2003) (granting summary judgment on ground that no franchise created under California Franchise Investment Law), affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court, 2005 WL 2250745 (September 16, 2005).
  • Arora v. Jackson Hewitt, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,615 (C.D Cal. 2003) (franchisee representative action challenging right to compel litigation in New Jersey as an unfair practice had to arbitrate in New Jersey).
  • El Pollo Loco v. Hashim, 316 F.3d 1032 (9th Cir 2003) (Ninth Circuit affirms the granting of a preliminary injunction against a former franchisee who was terminated without an opportunity to cure for dishonest conduct).
  • In the Matter of Arbitration between Ann Summers, Ltd. and Gueyffier, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,525 (American Arbitration Association, March 27, 2003) (statutory interpretation of California Franchise Investment Law, Corporations Code § 31013).
  • Jon K. Morrison v. Avis-Rent-A-Car, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,701 (W.D. Wash 2003) (court grants motion for summary judgment for Avis, finding that under Washington law Avis’ Agency Operator Agreement did not meet the definition of a franchise).
  • Lee v. GNC, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,411 (C.D. 2001) (dismissing Robinson-Patman and RICO claims), Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,248 (C.D. 2002) (granting summary judgment dismissing case, holding that renewal may be conditioned on the execution of a general release), Bus. Franchise Guide ¶ 12,717 (9th Cir. 2003) (upholding dismissal of virtually all claims, leading to plaintiff’s dismissal of remaining case).
  • Morrison v. Avis, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,524 (W.D. Wash. 2002) (denying temporary restraining order as to termination without cause of purported franchise), Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,701 (W.D. Wash. 2003) (upholding legality of termination).
  • Inamed v. Kuzmak, 275 F.Supp.2d 1100 (C.D. Cal. 2002) (denying licensee’s summary judgment and sua sponte entering judgment for patent holder).
  • Okocha v. Jani-King Franchising, (W.D. Wash. Dec. 2002), Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,479 (granting summary judgment against franchisee on eight counts including race discrimination).
  • Williams v. American Dairy Queen, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,274 (C.D. Cal. 2002) (diversity jurisdiction proper where sub-franchisor had been fraudulently joined).
  • In the Matter of Hales v. Conroy’s, Inc., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,177 (JAMS 2001) (Internet sales by Conroy’s and its parent 1-800-FLOWERS did not breach the franchise agreement or implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Judgment for Conroy’s).
  • Pink Dot. v. Teleport Communications Group, 89 Cal.App.4th 407 (2001) (a public utilities tariff did not prohibit claims of fraud or gross negligence).
  • California Bagel Co., 18 LLC v. American Bagel Co., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,880 (C.D.Cal., June 9, 2000) (no strict liability under California’s Franchise Investment Law for alleged misrepresentations of fact.)
  • Belverd v. IHOP Corp., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,026 (M.D.N.C. 2000) (franchisor and franchisee did not reach a meeting of the minds on the terms of a purported oral settlement agreement).
  • Duarte v. GNC, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,815 (C.D. Cal. 2000) (forum selection clause negated state franchise statute).
  • Big O Tires v. Granada Enterprises, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,607 (C.D.Cal 1999) (continued use of trademark after termination of franchise violated Lanham Act).
  • New Line Cinema v. Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc., 1999 WL 420185 (C.D.Cal) (executed letter of intent for $20 million dollar movie promotion was not binding).
  • Pang v. Jani-King of California, Inc., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,801 (Cal.App. 1999) (affirming denial of class certification).
  • Whittle v. Jamba Juice, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,854 (Utah Dist. Ct. 1999) (contractually shortened statute of limitations barred franchisee claims; no successor liability on part of acquiring franchisor).
  • Cameron v. AAMCO Transmissions, Inc., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,661 (Cal.Superior Court 1998) (franchisor has privilege to interfere with relationship between franchisee and its managers).
  • DFO, Inc. v. Northeast Inn of Meridian, Inc., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,552 (C.D. Cal 1998) (Mississippi franchisee, terminated for failure to adhere to civil rights decrees, had to litigate in Los Angeles).
  • Remington Investments, Inc. v. Hamedani, 55 Cal.App. 4th 1033, 64 Cal.Rptr. 2d 376 (1997), cert. den. (U.S. Supreme Court 1998) (bank acquiring note from predecessor bank lacks evidentiary basis to establish right to collection).
  • Garcia v. Midas International, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,149 (Cal.App. 1997), aff’d, California Supreme Court (1997) (franchisor not liable for the employment torts of its franchisees).
  • Great Harvest Franchising v. Artim, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,259 (E.D. Cal 1997) (court denies franchisee’s motion to dismiss finding that the covenant not to compete in the franchise agreement was an enforceable partial restraint under California law).
  • Great Harvest Franchising v. McKinley, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,260 (C.D. Cal 1997) (court denies franchisee’s motion to dismiss finding that the covenant not to compete in the franchise agreement may be an enforceable partial restraint under California law).
  • Pinnick & Silka v. Surface Doctor, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,314 (C.D. Cal. 1997) (California franchise relations act is pre-empted by federal arbitration act)/
  • Martin v. Southland Corp., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 11,019 (Cal.App. 1996) (no ostensible agency as to franchisor when 7-Eleven clerk attacked patron with machete).
  • Vicorp Restaurants, Inc. v. Village Inn Pancake House of Albuquerque, Bus. Franchise Guide ¶ 10,994 (D.N.M. 1996) (no duty of good faith not to encroach on exiting franchise territory).
  • 6th & K, Ltd. v. Ramada Franchise Systems, Inc., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 10,721 (S.D. Cal. 1995) (franchisor’s earnings claims used to obtain financing later repudiated when system was sold; failure to register in California; San Diego market saturated with Ramadas, encroaching on protected territory, misuse of advertising funds, deterioration of system, failure to disclose plan to sell system. All claims defeated; seven figure award for liquidated damages).
  • Garcia v. Midas International, Inc., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 10,792 (Cal. Sup. Ct. 1995) (court grants summary judgment for Midas finding that it was not vicariously liable for an alleged constructive discharge of a franchisee’s employee).
  • Cislaw v. Southland Corporation, 4 Cal.App.4th 1284 (1992)(franchisor was not vicariously liable for death of patron).
  • O’Leary v. Mid-Wilshire Associates, 7 Cal.App.4th 1450, 9 Cal.Rptr. 2d 862 (1992) (refusal to vacate ground rent arbitration award not appealable).
  • Silberg v. Anderson, 50 Cal.3d 205, 266 Cal.Rptr. 638 (1990) (litigation privilege is absolute).
  • The Southland Corporation v. Emerald Oil Co., 789 F.2d 1441 (9th Cir. 1986) (establishes priorities on secured interests under Commercial Code).
  • Nelson v. Tiffany Industries, Inc., 778 F.2d 533 (9th Cir. 1985) (product liability claims may be prosecuted against a transferee out of bankruptcy).
  • Strang v. Cabrol, 37 Cal.3d 720, 209 Cal.Rptr. 347 (1984) (dram shop liability is limited to obviously inebriated minors only).
  • CIM International v. United States, 641 F.2d 671 (9th Cir. 1980) (tax regulation could not override Federal Aviation Administration registration).

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