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A Franchisor is Not an Employer

The New York Law Journal reports that 7-Eleven has escaped liability for the negligence of one of its franchisees, who spilled hot coffee on a customer.

Eugene Nickola was present on May 22, 2002, when Mizra Mahmud, an employee at a local franchise, began struggling with another customer for possession of a coffee pot. Nickola was standing shoulder to shoulder with the customer but was not involved in the dispute. Nickola testified that Mahmud wrenched the pot away and threw the coffee at the customer, but the liquid missed its target and instead hit Nickola on his head, neck and shoulder. The local franchise was presumably insolvent, and 7-Eleven produced evidence of its safety training for franchisees. The New York Supreme Court reaffirmed classic respondeat superior rules, asserting that the franchisor did not possess the kind of micro-control over the franchisee that would have led to liability.

Isn't it amazing that the confirmation of such rules is news, worthy of report here and in the New York Law Journal. Sign of the times, I'm sure....



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.