McDonald’s has called on a judge to dismiss a lawsuit against a group of black ex-franchisees who accused the fast food group of putting them out of business by sentencing them to fail.
Over 50 former franchisees claimed in the lawsuit that there had been an “exodus” of black franchisees from the McDonald’s system for several years when the company relocated them in depressed areas with outdated facilities. They are seeking damages averaging $ 4 million to $ 5 million per point of sale.
McDonalds said at the time that the allegations were baseless, and on Friday the company – was on its legal team Loretta Lynch, former US attorney general – provided a fuller defense when he hit back with a trial.
“Plaintiffs’ allegations are based almost entirely on speculation,” information and beliefs “and final allegations,” McDonald’s said in its filing in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
McDonalds accused plaintiffs of “relying on vague anecdotes that did not specify who did what to them and when”.
In their lawsuit filed in late August, the former black franchisees alleged so MC Donalds had “steered” them into areas with high crime and high operating costs and was unable to help when they – unlike their white colleagues – ran into financial problems. They also said the company subjected them to higher standards through stricter inspections.
As a result of this treatment, the number of black franchisees in the system fell from around 400 in 1998 to fewer than 200, according to court cases. Restaurants operated by black franchisees reportedly had lower average annual sales than the rest of the system.
On Friday, McDonald’s said the plaintiffs’ case lacked “concrete facts to support their expansive claims.”
“At the core, [the] The plaintiffs claim they should have been more successful, ”the company said. “But no one is promised success, and the plaintiffs’ struggles, though unfortunate, are simply no basis for a lawsuit against McDonald’s.”
McDonalds went on to argue that the former franchisees’ claim was “illogical as it suggests that the company somehow has an interest in undermining its franchisees and seeing them fail”.
In a media statement, McDonald’s added that it was defending itself against the lawsuit at the company “even as we take the necessary steps to promote an environment where equal opportunities are part of the experience.”