A federal court in Tennessee recently granted a franchisor’s motion to dismiss claims alleging that a franchisor was liable for a workplace mass shooting by a franchisee. Fernald v. JFE Franchising, Inc., 2023 WL 2938312 (W.D. Tenn. April 13, 2023).
A federal bankruptcy court in Delaware has dismissed time-barred claims that a Chapter 7 Trustee alleged on behalf of a bankrupt franchisor, AVF Franchising, LLC, against several of its franchisees. In re Start Man Furniture, LLC., 2023 WL 2717662 (Bankr. D. Del. Mar. 30, 2023).
A federal court in Oklahoma granted franchisor Pizza Inn, Inc.’s motion for preliminary injunction preventing two former Pizza Inn franchisees – Odetallah and Allen’s Dynamic Food – from operating competing pizza restaurants in the same location as each of their former Pizza Inn franchises. Pizza Inn, Inc. v. Allen's Dynamic Food, Inc., 2023 WL 3015297 (W.D. Okla. Apr. 19, 2023).
A federal court in California denied a subfranchisor’s motion to transfer venue, holding that its Operator Agreement constituted a franchise agreement, thus making its forum-selection clause void under the California Franchise Relations Act (CFRA). Singh v. Wireless Vision, LLC, 2023 WL 2752584 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 31, 2023).
A federal court in New Jersey recently granted salon franchisor Fantastic Sams summary judgment against former franchisees that failed to make payments required under a previous settlement agreement. Fantastic Sams Franchise Corp. v. Weekes, 2023 WL 2696595 (D.N.J. Mar. 29, 2023).
On May 11, 2023, the United States Small Business Administration will eliminate the SBA Franchise Directory, a move that may impact evaluation of franchise loans by some lenders. The change comes from the SBA’s revision of “affiliation” and “control” standards in its lending rules for small business loans, including those administered under the 7(a) and 504 Loan Programs often utilized by franchisees. With these changes in the SBA rules, there is no longer any need for the SBA Franchise Directory.
In 2021, Lathrop GPM launched a speaker series and initiative designed to increase franchise ownership by underrepresented racial and ethnic groups – as both franchisees and franchisors. In this month’s content, we shine the spotlight on Carlos White, one of the leaders of our Diversity in Franchising efforts.
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The Franchise Memorandum is a collection of postings on summaries of recent legal developments of interest to franchisors brought to you by Lathrop GPM LLP.
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