Judge reinstates some claims in Wisc. suit against Quiznos

MILWAUKEE A federal judge here has reinstated the franchisee lawsuit he dismissed last November against Quiznos, allowing 12 owner-operators to pursue their claims of racketeering and fraud against the sandwich-chain franchisor.

U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled last week after a motion for reconsideration was filed by the plaintiffs’ attorney, Justin Klein. Griesbach said in his decision that arguments and evidence from the franchisees and Quiznos should be weighed before he issues a ruling or the case is settled at trial. He said his earlier ruling was in error because he improperly relied on specific cases of law, but on review, he said those cases did not support his original move for dismissal.

Griesbach had dismissed the lawsuit last fall, saying the group of franchisees failed to prove their claims that Quiznos forced them to buy supplies at higher prices with the allegedly inflated profits channeled back from approved vendors to headquarters in the form of kickbacks. 

The judge did not reinstate the plaintiffs’ claim against Quiznos that alleged antitrust violations.

Klein, who also represents Quiznos franchisees in a lawsuit filed against the chain in Denver and in Wisconsin state court, said he was pleased the franchisees would have an opportunity to prove their claims.

Quiznos chief legal officer, however, said the franchisees’ claims were still without merit.

“We remain confident that when the court views the facts in addition to the pleasing, he will see that Quiznos acted properly,” Rich Emmett said.

Quiznos is based in Denver.