Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 407
Merchandising Practices

August 28, 2016
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Franchisee's right to action for damages, injunction, when--recovery of damages--dispute restrictions.

407.835. 1. Notwithstanding any provision of the franchise to the contrary, in addition to the administrative relief provided in sections 407.810 to 407.835, any franchisee may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction against a franchisor with whom the franchisee has a franchise, manufacturer, distributor, or importer for an act or omission which constitutes a violation of a franchise or the MVFP act to recover actual damages sustained by reason thereof, plus actual and reasonable expenses of litigation, including, but not limited to, depositions, transcripts, expert witnesses, and attorney fees, and, where appropriate, such franchisee shall be entitled to injunctive relief, but the remedies set forth in this section shall not be deemed exclusive and shall be in addition to any other remedies permitted by law or equity.

2. In any action wherein a franchisor, manufacturer, distributor, or importer has been found liable in damages to any franchisee for a willful violation of a franchise or the MVFP act, then any franchisee so damaged shall be entitled to recover actual damages sustained thereby, plus actual and reasonable expenses of litigation, including, but not limited to, depositions, transcripts, expert witnesses, and attorney fees, and, where appropriate, such motor vehicle franchisee shall be entitled to injunctive relief, but the remedies set forth in this section shall not be deemed exclusive and shall be in addition to any other remedies permitted by law or equity. In addition, a court or jury may award a franchisee punitive damages in such amount as it deems appropriate.

3. In the event of a dispute between a franchisee and a franchisor:

(1) At the option of the franchisee, venue of any civil action, other than a proceeding before the administrative hearing commission, shall be proper in the circuit court of Cole County or the circuit court in the judicial circuit where the franchisee resides or has its principal place of business;

(2) Missouri law shall govern the franchise and the dispute, both substantively and procedurally;

(3) No mandatory arbitration provision in any franchise shall be valid;

(4) No waiver of jury trial in any franchise shall be valid;

(5) No provision in any franchise providing for a franchisee to pay a franchisor's attorney fees, mediation costs, arbitration costs, or litigation costs shall be valid;

(6) No provision in any franchise providing for mediation, arbitration, or litigation to occur outside this state shall be valid; and

(7) Unless otherwise provided in the MVFP act, the franchisor shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that it has acted in good faith, that all required notices were given, that good cause exists for its actions, and that its actions were fair and reasonable giving due regard to the equities of the affected parties, except for the franchisee's damages and expenses of litigation.

(L. 1980 H.B. 1600 § 6, A.L. 1997 H.B. 516, A.L. 1998 H.B. 1055, A.L. 2010 H.B. 2198)




1998

407.835. In addition to the administrative relief provided in sections 407.810 to 407.835, any motor vehicle franchisee may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction against a motor vehicle franchisor with whom the franchisee has a franchise, for an act or omission which constitutes an unlawful practice as defined in section 407.825 to recover damages sustained by reason thereof, and, where appropriate, such motor vehicle franchisee shall be entitled to injunctive relief, but the remedies set forth in this section shall not be deemed exclusive and shall be in addition to any other remedies permitted by law.



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