New York L&E Team's Representation of Food Manufacturer in State Franchise Act Lawsuit by Independent Distributor Leads to Dismissal

Richard Reibstein and Christopher Fontenelli (New York), working with local litigation counsel in Arkansas, obtained an order of dismissal in a multi-count complaint filed in Arkansas state court against a leading food manufacturing client. The plaintiff was an independent contractor that distributed the products of the Locke Lord client to retail outlets. After the distributor was terminated by the client for business reasons, the distributor commenced a lawsuit asserting a claim under the Arkansas Franchise Practices Act as well as five common law tort claims ranging from interference to civil conspiracy. Reibstein and Fontenelli briefed the state franchise practices act claim in consultation with Kevin Twining (Dallas), taking the position that the law did not apply to distributors that did not sell or display products at their own place of business. Local counsel briefed the state common law claims. After the court granted the motion to dismiss in a lengthy opinion, the former distributor chose not to appeal.
Posted on April 14, 2020