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Case Name Crawford v. McDonald's PA-IL-0001
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-05132 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Public Accomm./Contracting
Case Summary
On August 31, 2020, 52 black McDonald’s franchisees filed this lawsuit against McDonald’s in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Plaintiffs claimed that McDonald’s racially discriminated against them in its management policies and set the franchisees up to fail by ... read more >
On August 31, 2020, 52 black McDonald’s franchisees filed this lawsuit against McDonald’s in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Plaintiffs claimed that McDonald’s racially discriminated against them in its management policies and set the franchisees up to fail by placing them in economically depressed locations and high-crime areas. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S. § 1981 (part of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 guaranteeing equal rights under the law), alleging that McDonald’s knowingly discriminated against Plaintiffs by denying equal advancement opportunities to them as compared to white counterparts. Additionally, the plaintiffs sued under state law, alleging that McDonald’s engaged in disproportionately harsh enforcement of the Franchise Agreement that amounted to a breach of contract and fraudulent omission of requirements that were more stringent for them as well as of opportunities that were available to white franchisees. Represented by the Ferraro Law Firm based in Florida, the franchisees sought between $4 and $ 5 million per restaurant in compensatory damages, consequential damages, and punitive damages as well as attorney’s fees and costs. Judge Steve C. Seeger was assigned to the case.

McDonald’s moved twice to dismiss the franchisees’ complaint for failure to state a valid claim. Following the first motion, the franchisees amended their complaint on November 16, 2020, to include 25 more plaintiffs, add details regarding McDonald’s Franchise Agreement, and remove an explicit cause of action for punitive damages, though Plaintiffs still seek punitive damages. McDonald’s filed the second motion to dismiss on December 21, 2020, after which franchisees responded.

On February 2, 2021, McDonalds filed a reply both to the franchisees' amended complaint and in support of defendant's motion to dismiss. This reply alleged plaintiffs' claims failed because they were conclusory, failed to use facts particular enough to support their claims, and were time-barred under the statute of limitations of 42 U.S. § 1981.

As of July 6, 2021, no further significant actions have occurred. This case is ongoing.

Matthew Feng - 02/04/2021
Eric Gripp - 07/06/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Restaurant
Discrimination-area
Contracting
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
State law
Defendant(s) McDonald's USA, LLC
Plaintiff Description 77 Black McDonald's franchisees who have operated stores across the country
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 08/31/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  IFA's Charlottesville Case: Sines v. Kessler
Integrity First for America
Date: May 28, 2021
(Integrity First for America)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
N.D. Ill.
06/30/2021
1:20-cv-05132
PA-IL-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Ill.
08/31/2020
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PA-IL-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
11/16/2020
Amended Complaint [ECF# 30]
PA-IL-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Seeger, Steven Charles (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fahey, William R (Illinois) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-0001 | PA-IL-0001-0002
Ferraro, James L (Florida) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-0001 | PA-IL-0001-0002 | PA-IL-0001-9000
Joeveer, Mamie Coleen (Florida) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-0001 | PA-IL-0001-0002 | PA-IL-0001-9000
Parks, Daryl D (Florida) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-9000
Portal, Janpaul (Florida) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-0001 | PA-IL-0001-0002 | PA-IL-0001-9000
Salas, Natalia Maria (Florida) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-0001 | PA-IL-0001-0002 | PA-IL-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Andrews, Amy Curtner (Illinois) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-9000
Buergel, Susanna M. (New York) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-9000
Holmes, Patricia Brown (Illinois) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-9000
King, Karen R. (New York) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-9000
Lynch, Loretta (New York) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-9000
Rushing, Raymond Dion (Illinois) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-9000
Wilson, Ariel Schepers (Michigan) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-9000
Wu, Andrew Jason (California) show/hide docs
PA-IL-0001-9000

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