7-Eleven, Inc. is defying court-ordered discovery requests in order to hide its illegal and racially discriminatory strategy of purging its system of South Asian (namely Indian and Pakistani) franchise owners, according to an attorney representing 7-Eleven franchisees in a number of lawsuits.
RELATED: See 7-Eleven whistleblower Susan Corral’s statement regarding discrimination here: 7-ELEVEN Whistleblower Alleges Franchise Discrimination
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Attorney Jerry Marks, of Red Bank, NJ law firm Marks & Klein, has submitted a letter to NJ District Judge Honorable Joel Schneider requesting sanctions against 7-Eleven, an order to produce all requested documents, and denial of 7-Eleven’s request for a stay.
Mr. Marks claims that 7-Eleven and its counsel have been stonewalling and defying court instructions in order to “hide evidence of illegal, discriminatory and tortious conduct.”
The letter to Judge Schneider was in reference to three lawsuits in which Marks & Klein represent 7-Eleven franchisees: 7-Eleven, Inc. v. Karamjeet Sodhi, Neil Naik et al. v. 7-Eleven, Inc. and Younes et al. v. 7-Eleven, Inc.
(Read Attorney Marks’ letter & supporting documents: Gerald Marks’ Letter to Judge Schneider Seeking Stay).
Each of these lawsuits involves the allegedly improper seizure by 7-Eleven, Inc. of franchise stores that were operated and developed by long-time franchisees of South Asian descent.
The lawsuits contend that 7-Eleven Inc. developed an internal “hit list” of franchisees it wished to purge from the system by seizing their stores and reselling them for profit.
Whistleblower Kurt McCord has provided an insider’s account of how 7-Eleven allegedly used its Asset Protection department to terminate targeted franchisees and resell their seized stores for profit (see 7-ELEVEN Bombshell: Insider Accuses 7-11 of Predatory Franchise Practices)
Another whistleblower, 30+ year 7-Eleven employee and franchise salesperson Susan Corral, provided a written certification detailing how 7-Eleven management instructed its staff to recruit non-Indian and Pakistani franchisees because it wanted to “change its franchisee image.” (see 7-ELEVEN Whistleblower Alleges Franchise Discrimination).
7-Eleven Has Alleged “Hit List” of Franchisees to Purge
Marks’ letter to Judge Schneider alludes to the existence of an organized internal effort within 7-Eleven, Inc. (“Project P”) to target specific franchisees on a “hit list,” and terminate their contracts and purge them from the system without payment or compensation.
Marks’ letter suggests that the franchisee Project P “hit list” effort is discriminatory in nature and “specifically lists and targets the President of the New Jersey Metro Franchisee Association President , Karamjeet Sodhi, and members Bijen Patel, Bvesh Patel and Sam Patel [Marks’ clients]”
Attorney Marks’ letter alleges that 7-Eleven has been uncooperative in producing discovery documents in order to hide its serious legal and civil rights abuses against South Asian franchisees:
The unusual, numerous and recurrent discovery obstacles involved in the Naik and Sodhi cases are explained by the severity of 7-Eleven, Inc.’s (“7-Eleven”) wrongdoing and the attempt by 7-Eleven and its counsel, to hide evidence of such illegal, discriminatory and tortious conduct. The significant civil rights and franchisee issues involved in these cases involve national as well as New Jersey public policy and the disregard of franchisee statutory protections.
Specifically, the Naik and Sodhi cases involve 7-Eleven’s deliberate violations of both the United States Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. § 1983) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJ LAD”), N.J S.A. 10:5-1, et seq. in terms of racial discrimination against South Asian franchisees of Indian and/or Pakistani origin (see Certification of former 7-Eleven franchise sales representative Susan Corral accompanying this letter).
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