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BRIEFLY

The Supreme Court ruled in a franchise case.

May 21, 1985

In a 6-2 ruling, the court said that Burger King Corp. properly forced a Michigan man to defend himself in a federal court in Miami, where Burger King has its headquarters. The decision reinstated a ruling that ordered John Rudzewicz to give up the Burger King outlet that he operated in the Detroit area and pay the firm $228,875 for violating his contract. Rudzewicz obtained a Burger King franchise in 1978 and agreed to pay more than $1 million over 20 years to the corporation. But when business at the restaurant trailed off in 1979, he fell behind in his payments to the company. Burger King officials then ordered Rudzewicz and his business partner to vacate the premises, but they refused. The corporation successfully sued Rudzewicz in federal court in Miami. But the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the judgment against him because it said he should have been sued in Michigan.

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