Sunday, November 10, 2013

Morio v. North American Soccer League case brief

Morio v. North American Soccer League case brief summary
510 F.Supp. 633 (1980)

Plaintiff gasoline dealer filed suit alleging that defendant oil company violated the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (PMPA), 15 U.S.C.S. § 2801 et seq.; Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93E, § 5A; the unconscionability provision of the Massachusetts Uniform Commercial Code, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 106, § 2-302; and the common law of undue influence. The company filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

The company claimed that it could not have provided a summary statement because this statement had not yet been promulgated at the time the mutual termination agreements were entered into in April 1978. Consequently, because the PMPA required such compliance, it was in effect unconstitutional.

The court disagreed, finding that because the statute required that the summary statement be published in the Federal Register within 30 days of June 19, 1978, 15 U.S.C.S. § 2804(d)(1), and this was in fact done, it was possible for the company to comply with the provisions of the Act and it was not unconstitutional as applied to the facts of this case. The court held that the notice requirements of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93E, § 5, did not apply to the termination agreement because it was a mutual termination agreement, in which the dealer participated and voluntarily relinquished his rights in the marketing agreements. Where both parties agreed to terminate a franchise relationship, any reason was sufficient to justify that termination.


The court granted the company's motion to dismiss on the statutory notice claim and denied the motion to dismiss as to all other claims.

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