Whom to Sue after a Slip and Fall at a Franchise Store
Hi. I'm Jared Richards. I'm one of the partners at Clear Council Law Group and one of our readers has asked if I slip and fall at a franchise restaurant, who should I make the claim against? Should I make the claim against the local franchise owner or should I make a claim against the larger company?
The answer is, you have to make the claim against the person who's responsible. Sometimes it's difficult to know exactly who's responsible, whether it's a general company's policy that made the dangerous condition, or whether it's that individual franchise owner that made the dangerous condition. Sometimes you'll sue both, but as a general principal, often it is the local franchise owner that is in direct control of the store and is most at fault.
One of the things you also want to consider is whether you want to sue multiple parties or just sue the smallest party that's large enough to actually pay the claim. It sometimes will simplify the lawsuit. It sometimes will decrease the number for attorneys involved. Although, I think that generally if you're talking about a franchise, local versus national, they may be represented by the same attorney, so I'm not sure it would matter too much.
Anyway, that's the long answer. The shorter answer is contact an attorney and that attorney is going to have to make the decision as to whether they sue the local franchise, which I think will happen most of the time, or whether they will sue the national brand, which could happen sometimes.
Anyway, if you have any questions, give us a call and we're happy to help.