Sunday, November 24, 2013

Martino v. McDonald's System, Inc. case brief

Martino v. McDonald's System, Inc. case brief summary
598 F.2d 1079 (1979)

Plaintiff restaurateur challenged the decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, which granted defendant fast food franchise's motion for summary judgment in plaintiff's antitrust action.

Plaintiff restaurateur entered into a franchise agreement with defendant fast food franchise. The contract provided that neither plaintiff nor a member of his immediate family would acquire a financial interest in a competing self-service food business without the written consent of defendant. However, plaintiff's son purchased an interest in a competing fast food franchise without defendant's consent and plaintiff financed the transaction. Defendant brought a breach of contract action against plaintiff. The lawsuit ended in a consent judgement. Several years later, plaintiff filed an antitrust action against defendant pursuant to § 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment contending that plaintiff's suit was barred by Fed. R. Civ. P. 13(a), (compulsory counterclaims) and by res judicata. The district court granted defendant's motion.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed the district court's decision. 
  • It held plaintiff's claim fell within the narrow class of common law compulsory counterclaims. 
  • Additionally, it held that plaintiff was barred from raising his antitrust claim because of the doctrine of res judicata.

The court affirmed the district court's decision granting summary judgment in favor of defendant fast food franchise, holding that plaintiff' restaurateur's claim fell within the class of common law compulsory counterclaims. Additionally, the court held that the doctrine of res judicata barred plaintiff's antitrust claim.

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