O McDonalds temporarily avoided a lawsuit by 52 black former franchise owners who allege the fast-food chain failed them by directing them to violent, low-income neighborhoods.
A federal judge in Chicago dismissed the lawsuit filed in 2020 in a written order last week, but gave plaintiffs until October 21 to rephrase the complaint. The judge did not explain why he dismissed the case.
The plaintiffs allege that McDonald’s failed to provide profitable locations and growth opportunities to black franchisees who were operating on the same terms as white franchisees, despite its public commitment to diversity and black entrepreneurship.
They were seeking up to $1 billion in damages.
McDonald’s has denied wrongdoing and said that while it can recommend store locations, franchisees make the final decisions.
The company, in a statement provided by a spokesperson, said the case was dismissed “because the plaintiffs lacked facts to support their arguments.”
“Discrimination has no place at McDonald’s, and we remain steadfast in our dedication to acting to attract and support franchisees who represent the diverse communities we serve,” the company said.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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