By: Eugene Hollander
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Former Franchisee Can Pursue Discrimination Claim Against Culver’s
A black former franchisee of Culver’s may pursue his racial discrimination claim against the fast food restaurant chain, a federal judge has ruled. Michael Wilbern was one of the first African American franchisees of the chain and claims that Culver’s hindered his operation in favor or a white franchisee in a neighboring community. Specifically, Wilbern alleges that the chain blocked every proposed location which Wilbern had suggested because they were in a predominate African American neighborhood. Instead, he claims that Culver’s persuaded him to open up a restaurant in predominately white Franklin park. Though he opened the store, it failed due to much higher rent costs. Culver’s denies any liability. The federal court rejected an opportunity to dismiss the suit. No trial date has yet been scheduled.