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      RS 51:1454     


§1454.  Authorization of suits; damages; defenses

A retailer may bring suit against a refiner and a refiner may bring suit against a retailer where the plaintiff and defendant are parties to a franchise, and the plaintiff may be granted relief in the following respects:

(1)  Where the court finds cancellation of a franchise in violation of this Chapter, specific performance or injunctive relief may be granted, or in the alternative, the actual damages sustained by plaintiff including ascertainable loss of goodwill as a result of plaintiff's franchise being cancelled.  

(2)  Where the court finds plaintiff's franchise was cancelled for one of the reasons permitted under R.S. 51:1453B, plaintiff shall be entitled to recover an amount equal to the price previously paid by plaintiff to defendant for resalable tires, batteries, accessories, branded products, and equipment previously purchased by the plaintiff from the defendant, less reasonable allowance for depreciation with respect to equipment previously purchased, all of which shall be returned to, and become the property of, the defendant.  

(3)  In the case of nonrenewal of a franchise, plaintiff shall be entitled to the recovery allowed in Subparagraph (2) of this section.  A retailer may also recover for ascertainable loss of goodwill where a refiner within one year from the date of such nonrenewal reopens the subject outlet as a direct-operated outlet, or within one year after such nonrenewal, refiner closes subject outlet and opens a direct-operated outlet within one-half mile of the location of the subject outlet, which direct-operated outlet would have directly competed with subject outlet if it had remained in business; provided that if the refiner had cause to cancel the franchise for one of the reasons permitted under R.S. 51:1453B, the retailer shall not be entitled to recover for goodwill; and provided further that if the refiner and retailer mutually agree to relocate the retailer in another outlet, said retailer shall not be entitled to recover goodwill.  

In the event the plaintiff establishes recoverable damages, the refiner or retailer as defendant shall have the right to offset those damages against any existing indebtedness owed to him by the plaintiff.  

If the court finds that any violation or cancellation hereunder was not done in good faith, the court may award reasonable attorney fees, provided however that any defendant shall not be barred from asserting in defense of any such allegation the failure of the plaintiff to act in good faith.  

Added by Acts 1974, No. 628, §1.  

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