Article Date 07/02/2019

Image from : Ben Nelms/Bloomberg

Tim Hortons, franchisee group close to settling two class-action lawsuits

Source Bloomberg

Tim Hortons and an association representing some of its frustrated franchisees are close to reaching a settlement in two class-action lawsuits the group filed against the coffee-and-doughnut chain.


Tim Hortons and the Great White North Franchisee Association submitted a term sheet signed by their respective legal counsel to justice Edward Morgan at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice Wednesday.

"I think both parties, we've worked really hard to reach this point and I think that it's going to be positive for the Tim Hortons brand moving forward and for our guests and for Tim Horton franchisees," said Mark Walker, the GWNFA's president.

The three-page document, which comes after weeks of negotiations between the two parties, is non-binding, but outlines the key points to a future settlement in the two cases.

The first lawsuit, filed in June 2017, alleged Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Tim Hortons, improperly used funds from a national advertising fund. It sought $500 million in damages. RBI denied the allegations and they have not been proven in court.

The second lawsuit, filed in Oct. 2017, alleged RBI subverted the franchisees' right to associate by denying future store opportunities to franchisees "not aligned" with the chain's interest, for example, or setting aside a $2-billion fund to buy out the GWNFA's current and future members. RBI also denied these allegations and they were also not proven in court.

The key terms of a future settlement address some of these concerns, said Walker and a source familiar with the case.



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