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Big Wins: Franchise Termination

Threatened Termination Of Franchise Rights

Successfully represented a three-location fine dining franchisee, pushing back against the franchisor’s threatened termination of these franchise rights, as well as the franchisee’s significant exclusive territorial store development rights, and effected a successful sale of those three locations and those development rights, for $19 million dollars. (2019)

Fought Unilateral Termination

Successfully defended franchisor litigation seeking to unilaterally terminate its systemwide network of motor vehicle rental franchises and effected successful multimillion-dollar sales of those franchises. (2018)

Resolved Termination Dispute

Successfully resolved a multi-party dispute regarding the termination of master-franchise rights in India for an amount in excess of $3 million. (2018)

Franchise Dealer Termination Jury Award

In 2017 Jeff Haff, along with South Dakota counsel David Edwards, received a favorable jury verdict for a terminated Isuzu Truck dealer. The South Dakota jury awarded $1.676 million against the Defendant, who was represented at trial by two of the most prominent defense firms in the nation. The amount of damages was remitted to $1,033,756.48 before the court added $802,246.04 in attorneys’ fees and costs to the reduced judgment, resulting in a total judgment of $1,836,223.52.

Franchise Termination Award Damages

In Anderson Tractor et al. v. Fiat et al (1996).Brown’s Tractor et al. v. Ford New Holland et al. (1998); and C&B Equipment et al. v. Fiat et al. (1996, liability; 1997, damages), we recovered in excess of $4 million for Fiat dealers who were put out of business by a corporate merger when Ford New Holland bought the Fiat Tractor line and then discontinued it.

Franchise Termination 14 Cases, One Verdict

In Armstrong v. H&R Block & Co. (2003), we won a jury verdict for an H&R Block franchisee in excess of $5 million based on the franchisee’s termination. Following that verdict, the franchisor settled with our 13 remaining clients in the total amount of $235 million for termination of their franchise rights.

Franchise De Facto Termination Arbitration

In Rose Equipment v. Freightliner (1999), we recovered approximately $1.2 million for a Freightliner dealer in an arbitration. We showed that the manufacturer’s direct sales to our client’s best customer violated the contract, the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and amounted to a de facto termination without good cause, even though the dealer continued in business.

Franchise De Facto Termination

In Shakopee Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-Pontiac-Geo, Inc., v. General Motors Corp., (Minn. D. Ct. Civ. No. 02-4361), the court held that General Motors’ withdrawal of the Oldsmobile line may constitute a de facto termination in violation of the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Act, a breach of the parties’ agreement, and a violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Franchise Termination Declaration

In Idaho Freightliner v. Freightliner (2000), we obtained a declaration that Freightliner did not have good cause to terminate this dealer.

Franchise Termination Arbitration

In Polaris v. G.J.L., Inc. (1996), an arbitrator agreed with our position that, even though a written dealer agreement permitted the manufacturer to terminate the dealer without cause, the parties’ conduct had modified that agreement such that termination could take place only for good cause. The arbitrator awarded our clients $170,000.

Franchise Termination Arbitration

In Handlebar Cycle v. Polaris (1999), we successfully argued that two dealers’ contracts had been modified, as a result of a party’s course of dealing, to permit termination only for good cause, after which the arbitrator awarded $270,000 in damages.

Franchise Termination Arbitration

In Maurice Bowlin v. Ford New Holland (1992), an arbitrator awarded $150,000 in damages for the dealer’s wrongful termination.

Franchise Wrongful Termination Arbitration

In Nixon-Egli Equipment Company v. American Crane Corporation (1993), an arbitrator awarded $443,000 in damages for the wrongful termination of this construction equipment dealer.

Franchise Termination Court Order Restraining Termination

In Heck Implement v. Deere & Co. (1996), we obtained a court order restraining a manufacturer from terminating our client, an agricultural implement dealer.

Franchise Termination Injunction

In Nueces Power Equipment v. Volvo (2000), we successfully obtained a court injunction for a construction equipment dealer restraining the manufacturer’s termination.

Franchise Termination Injunction

In CTK, Inc. v. Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America, Inc. (2001), we obtained a preliminary injunction restraining the termination of our client, a forklift dealer.

Franchise Termination Injunction

In Dady et al. v. Olympia Brewing Company and Theodore Hamm Brewing Company (1975), Michael Dady and his colleagues successfully sought and obtained an injunction in federal court in Minnesota, preventing the announced termination of several Hamm’s beer distributors (including his father!) who had received notices of termination in connection with Olympia’s acquisition of Hamm’s. The injunction was affirmed on appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Franchise Dealer Termination Court Order

In L.B. Smith, Inc. v. Cedarapids, Inc. & Terex Corporation, we obtained a court order enjoining a manufacturer of road equipment from terminating its dealer.

Franchise Dealer Termination Jury Award

In Avoca Implement Co. v. Ford New Holland America, Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 10,311 (S.D. Iowa 1993), we obtained a jury award of $775,000 for a terminated dealer in a summary jury trial.

Franchise Termination

In Shaull Equip. & Supply Co. v. Ingersoll Rand, et al., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 12,939 (M.D. Pa. Nov. 4, 2004), the court held that the parties’ written agreement, which permitted termination without good cause, was modified by the parties’ course of dealing, such that the manufacturer was required to have good cause to terminate the relationship.

Franchise Dealer Termination Jury Award

In FMS v. Volvo Construction Equipment North America (Ill. Dist. Ct. 2006), a jury awarded $2.1 million to our client, a dealer in Samsung excavators. The jury agreed with our argument that when Volvo bought Samsung and re-branded Samsung excavators as Volvo excavators, it terminated FMS as a dealer without good cause.

Franchise Termination Arbitration Awarded Damages

In Coelho & Bachetti, Inc. v. Ford New Holland, Inc., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 10,923 (A.A.A. 1996), an arbitrator held that the manufacturer’s re-branding of a product line did not constitute a bona fide total product withdrawal and awarded damages in the millions of dollars to our clients.


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