(Reuters) – McDonald & # 39 ;s Corp. was hit on Thursday with a potential multi-billion dollar lawsuit by black franchisees who accused the fast-food giant of racial discrimination of directing them to underperforming stores.
The proposed class action led by James and Darrell Byrd, brothers of four McDonalds restaurants in Tennessee, was filed by the law firm representing 52 black former franchisees who filed a similar lawsuit on August 31. -cities with high security and insurance costs and below-average sales, driving many away by not supporting them when debt rises and profits are missing.
Jim Ferraro, the plaintiffs' attorney, estimated that McDonald & # 39 ;s has 1
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Chicago, where McDonald & # 39 ;s is headquartered, claims damages [$ 5959002] In a statement, McDonald & # 39 ;s United States said it has a "clear interest" in franchisees' success and invested significantly in Byrd & # 39 ;s franchise after encountering difficulties. McDonald & # 39 ;s said they will defend themselves against the lawsuit.
McDonald & # 39 ;s has taken steps this year to address concerns about its workplace culture, including updating its corporate values for the first time since 2008.
It has denied that it treats black franchisees in different ways, acknowledging that it wants its franchisees to be more diverse. McDonald & # 39 ;s has also denied allegations of racial discrimination in a lawsuit filed in January by two black executives. "This is actually a good thing, on some level, but not a good enough thing."
McDonald & # 39 ;s sought last week to dismiss the lawsuit from former franchisees, who are seeking up to $ 1 billion in damages, saying it revealed the risks of owning stores and did not set anyone up for failure.
The case is Byrd et. al v. McDonald & # 39 ;s USA LLC et. al U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.