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The Franchise Memorandum

The Franchise Memorandum

Posts in Distributor and Dealer Terminations.

A federal court in Missouri recently denied a medical device manufacturer’s motion for summary judgment on its distributor’s counterclaims for breach of contract and declaratory relief, finding factual disputes remained as to nearly every significant issue. MWG Enters., LLC v. ETS Wound Care, LLC, 2022 WL 503727 (E.D. Mo. Feb. 18, 2022).

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A federal court in California recently granted summary judgment against a distributor that alleged that her agreement with Ralph Lauren permitted her to resell Ralph Lauren furniture in perpetuity. Card v. Ralph Lauren Corp., 2021 WL 4427433 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 27, 2021).

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A federal court in Minnesota has refused to stop the non-renewal of a distributor of coin-operated tire-inflator machines and automobile vacuums in William McCabe v. AIR-Serv Group, LLC, 2007 WL 4591932 (D. Minn. Dec. 28, 2007). The change was part of the manufacturer’s business model shift that had resulted in reducing distributor ranks from 130 down to four. Most of the reduction occurred through non-renewal of distribution agreements at the end of their terms. This distributor’s lawsuit claimed protection under the Minnesota Franchise Act and on other grounds.

In denying ...

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The United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently denied a gas station franchisee’s motion for preliminary injunction against a franchisor in a dispute under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act. Houtan Petroleum, Inc. v. ConocoPhillips Company, U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86869 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 16, 2007).

Houtan had operated a Union 76 gas station as a Conoco franchisee at the same location for 10 years. While Conoco owned the structures, equipment and improvements at the station, it did not own the station property but instead leased it from a third-party ...

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A dealer named Tri-State Hardware filed a three-count petition in federal court in Missouri alleging that John Deere wrongfully terminated Tri-State’s right to sell the manufacturer’s line of products and services. Tri State Hardware, Inc.  v. John Deere Co., 2007 WL 4287867 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 6, 2007). In support of its claims, Tri-State  submitted a certified public accountant’s opinion on future profits allegedly lost because of the termination. The court generally allowed the affidavit, as there were reasonable disputes between the parties over both assumed facts and ...

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The United States District Court for the District of Oregon recently upheld a temporary restraining order that it had issued at the request of a motorcycle dealership, finding that Oregon’s Motor Vehicle Dealerships Act requires courts to maintain the status quo between a dealership and manufacturer while the court determines whether good cause for termination exists.  Everything Cycles, Inc. v. Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79396 (D. Or. Oct. 25, 2007). Yamaha’s attempted termination of the dealership arose out of the felony conviction of the ...

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Cole’s Tractor & Equipment, Inc. was both a dealer and distributor for Homier Distributing Company, Inc., which sells and distributes Farm Pro tractors, implements, tools, small engines, and related products. Homier sent a notice of termination to Cole due to Cole’s alleged failure to actively develop its territory and its severely declining sales performance.The notice specified that Cole had not, however, lost its “status as a dealer of Homier Farm Pro product lines.” Cole sued Homier in federal court, alleging that Homier had impermissibly contacted the dealerships ...

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About this Publication

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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