Independent Joe #66 February/March 2021

New Dunkin’ owner Inspire Brands is not only one of the largest restaurant companies in the world, it also wants to be a leader in the collection, analysis and use of data. To that end, Inspire’s CEO Paul Brown recently created a new corporate position. Navin Sharma, a senior executive with Inspire since 2018, is…

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Some States Considering Their Own Liability Shields

Notwithstanding continuing unfulfilled promises of business liability shields from COVID lawsuits at the federal level, a number of additional states are now considering implementing their own liability shields at the state level. Currently, both Indiana and Florida are considering bills filed for the new legislative sessions that would provide a level of immunity from potentially…

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Independent Joe #65 December 2020/January 2021

 There’s a story that many of us in the Association Management profession hear when we first enter the field. It is generally told to underscore the importance of volunteerism and illustrate that associations need to rely on the engagement of their members to ensure their success. It goes like this. There were four people…

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COVID-19 Lawsuits on the Rise: 5 Steps To Minimize the Risks

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought small business numerous challenges. We can now add another to the list: Employees filing increasing numbers of COVID-19 related lawsuits. In fact, according to the Fisher Phillips Employment Litigation Tracker, as of November 1, COVID-19 related lawsuits have been filed against 950 employers. The highest number of lawsuits were filed…

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Independent Joe #64 October/November 2020

Smack in the middle of the COVID-challenged 2020 NFL season, Inspire Brands sealed the deal to acquire Dunkin’ Brands International for the phenomenal price of $11.3 billion. Congratulations to all the players on these two (soon to be one) teams. A new owner is taking over an established and successful franchised brand. What could possibly…

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In-N-Out Joins Business Interruption Insurance Lawsuit

A legal challenge against insurance providers for denying losses claimed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic welcomed another voice last week. In-N-Out Burger, the privately-held California-based burger company filed suit against Zurich American Insurance, with which the chain has a $250 million “all risk” policy. The company argues their coverage policy “contains no exclusion…

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States Also Pursuing Liability Shields

One of the more popular topics on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s agenda seems to be legislating protection for businesses as they re-open in an effort to get the economy back on track. The Senate Leader has stated specifically that the next coronavirus relief legislation that will be sent to the President must include Business…

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Protecting Yourself From Lawsuits Involves Many Shades of Gray

Americans file 15 million lawsuits each year. Not every lawsuit has merit. Not every lawsuit has issues that are clearly defined in black and white. But there are many hungry lawyers eager to represent a plaintiff on a contingency-fee basis, which means you have to defend yourself. One reason entrepreneurs are so vulnerable is because…

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New York City Agrees to Menu-Labeling Delay

In the wake of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) filing court papers a few weeks ago intervening in a current court case challenging the New York City menu-labeling mandate, the Big Apple has agreed to delay implementation. Under the terms of a stipulation filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of…

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Miscellaneous

Two different court actions are notable this week as shopping center giant Simon Property Group filed a lawsuit against Starbucks over the company’s decision to close all 379 of its Teavana stores. According to the court action, 78 of those stores are in Simon malls and would constitute breach of their leases if the company…

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