A federal district court in California ruled that a class action brought against 7-Eleven by former franchisees was barred by the release of claims the franchisees signed when terminating their franchise agreements. The lawsuit, which sought to recover excise tax refunds from the franchisor, was dismissed when the court held that a California statute invalidating releases of claims did not apply to the franchisees. The statute nullifies contracts that exempt a party from liability for future intentional wrongs or gross misconduct, but the franchisees construed it as including intentional acts of withholding property as well. The court rejected their argument, ending the case. Read the full opinion here.
Grayson, et. al. v. 7-Eleven, Inc., Case No. 09c1353-GPC(WMC) (S.D. California 2013).