Surdyk's Liquor v. MGM Liquor Stores

83 F. Supp. 2d 1016 (2000)

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Surdyk’s Liquor v. MGM Liquor Stores

United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
83 F. Supp. 2d 1016 (2000)

Facts

Surdyk’s Liquor, Inc. (Surdyk) (plaintiff) owned and operated a liquor store in Minneapolis. MGM Liquor Stores, Inc. (MGM) (defendant) was the franchisor for a chain of 36 stores in the same geographic area, operating under the name MGM Liquor Warehouse. MGM often coordinated joint advertising campaigns for its franchisees. In the fall of 1999, MGM published two multi-page flyers that were widely circulated in the area. The flyers featured wine listings that included individual stock numbers and sale prices for bottles and cases. Maps showing participating store locations were also included. Disclaimers appeared in the flyers, warning that availability of some items might be limited or that MGM or its suppliers might run out of some products and vintages. Surdyk hired private investigators to visit MGM stores and attempt to purchase certain wines advertised in the flyers. In numerous cases, advertised products were unavailable at participating stores. MGM acknowledged that it did not attempt to control its franchisees’ inventories or stocking processes and that the wine business presented unique supply difficulties due to the size and quality of grape crops and the necessarily limited supply of older wines. Surdyk sued MGM for false advertising and moved for a preliminary injunction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Doty, J.)

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