In June, 2013 7-Eleven, Inc. attempted to terminate Karamjeet Sodhi’s franchise agreements and seize control of his 6 profitable 7-Eleven convenience stores with no prior warning or opportunity to “cure” the alleged defaults.
7-Eleven, Inc. sued the 26-year franchisee (7-Eleven, Inc. v. Karamjeet Sodhi, et al), alleging that Sodhi had fraudulently failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise sales, thereby cheating the corporation of its share of the stores’ revenue.
Franchisee Sodhi, represented by law firm Marks & Klein, filed a counter claim alleging violations of the New Jersey Franchise Act, 7-Eleven discrimination against Indian-American franchisees, and 7-Eleven’s misclassification of their franchisees as independent contractors.
7-Eleven, Inc.’s attorneys Duane Morris had tried to get a mandatory preliminary injunction that would make Sodhi surrender his 6 stores.
Marks & Klein successfully fought off the seizure of the stores temporarily, but there was a hearing scheduled for February. 7-Eleven relented and withdrew its request for the injunction, so Sodhi is allowed to operate his stores during the litigation.
Sodhi Lawsuit Proceeds With Discovery Phase
7-Eleven, Inc. v. Karamjeet Sodhi, et al appears to be proceeding to a trial in late 2014 or early 2015.
According to a Case Management Order issued 1/27/14:
- Pretrial factual discovery is extended to June 17, 2014.
- Expert reports and expert disclosures are to be served no later than July 1, 2014.
- Depositions of proposed expert witnesses are to be concluded by September 5, 2015.
- No later than October 3, 2014, “Dispositive motions shall be filed with the Clerk of the Court… in accordance with the applicable Federal and Local Rules of Civil Procedure.”
Regarding Sodhi’s countersuit, 7-Eleven, Inc. and Duane Morris were unsuccessful in trying to get the Sodhi countersuit consolidated with two other franchisee lawsuits against 7-Eleven (Younes, et. al. v. 7-Eleven, Inc. and Naik, et. al. v. 7-Eleven, Inc.).
On 1/24/14, Duane Morris filed a motion for reconsideration on the request for consolidation of the cases.
012714 Case Management Order (1/27/14)
Judge Bumb’s Rejection of Request to Consolidate Cases (1/13/14)
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