Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mike Northrup and Hilaree Casada secured a significant appellate victory in the Beaumont Court of Appeals

By Hilaree Casada, Mike Northrup

Mike Northrup and Hilaree Casada secured a significant appellate victory in the Beaumont Court of Appeals in a franchisor liability case where a judgment in excess of $29 million was rendered against the franchisor.  A delivery driver employed by the franchisee had an automobile accident that resulted in the death of an elderly woman and caused serious injury to her husband.  Suit was brought against the driver, the franchisee, and the franchisor.  The franchisee settled prior to trial and trial proceeded against the driver and the franchisor.  A jury found that the franchisor controlled the actions of the franchisee and it rendered a verdict in excess of $32 million.  Mr. Northrup and Ms. Casada handled the appeal of the judgment.  The court of appeals reversed the judgment and rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of the franchisor.  The court rejected the plaintiff’s contention that the franchisor had a right to control every detail of the franchisee’s operations and held that the right to terminate a franchise, or to conduct inspection, or to receive reports, or to require compliance with procedures and rules is not evidence of control that will result in liability.

For the Appellate section page, please click here.

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