More Than 50 Former Black Franchisees Sue McDonald's for Decades of Racial Discrimination

Former Black McDonald's franchise owners filed a federal lawsuit on September 1, demanding economic justice from McDonald's for denying them the same opportunities as White franchisees and steering them to economically depressed and dangerous areas where low-volume sales, high rent and operating costs guaranteed failure.

52 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division.

"The notion that McDonald's is a friend of the Black entrepreneur is complete fiction," said James L. Ferraro, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs. "McDonald's has been hemorrhaging Black franchisees for decades due to blatant and implicit racial discrimination. The company will now be held accountable."

The claims include over 200 stores with compensatory damages that average between $4 million and $5 million per store, exclusive of punitive damages.

Ferraro said in early February when his firm first started investigating the case, it was clear his clients experienced serious racial injustice.

The historic high of 377 Black McDonald's franchisees in 1998 has been more than cut in half.