Dunkin’ Donuts to Appeal Court Ruling

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CANTON, Mass. — The Dunkin’ Donuts court saga continues as the Canton, Mass.-based brand has announced plans to appeal a Superior Court ruling that the company pay $16.4 million to 21 former franchisees for “failure to protect its brand” from competition in Quebec between 1995 and 2005.

“Dunkin’s Brands strongly disagrees with the decision reached by the Court and believes the damages awarded were unwarranted,” reads a statement released by the chain. “Dunkin’s Brands is proud of its efforts to support all of its franchisees in Quebec and around the world, and the Company intends to vigorously appeal the decision.”

In last week’s ruling the judge found that the Dunkin’ Donuts parent company allowed Tim Hortons to take the “lions’ share” of the Quebec market. This comes after franchisees approached the parent company in 1996 with 50 points that needed to be addressed to compete in the market. The company responded with an expensive, ineffective renovation program.

According to Montreal’s Gazette newspaper, Dunkin’ Donuts had 210 stores in Quebec in 1998; it has 11 today.

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