(A) When a franchisor does, causes, or permits to be done anything prohibited by this chapter, or fails to perform any duty imposed upon it by this chapter, the franchisor shall be liable to the franchisee in double the amount of actual damages sustained, plus court costs and reasonable attorney fees.
(B) When a franchisor terminates, cancels, or fails to renew a franchise without the prior consent of the franchisee, or refuses to approve the sale or transfer of the business or a controlling interest in a franchisee for other than good cause, the franchisee or prospective transferee may, in lieu of filing a protest with the motor vehicle dealers board, recover damages under division (A) of this section.
(C) The franchisor shall be liable to the franchisee or prospective transferee for reasonable attorney fees, witness fees, and any other costs incurred by the franchisee or prospective transferee in any protest filed under section 4517.50, 4517.53, 4517.54, or 4517.56 of the Revised Code in which the motor vehicle dealers board finds in favor of the protesting franchisee or prospective transferee.
(D) The burden of proof to establish the franchisor's good cause shall be on the franchisor in protests and actions instituted under this section and sections 4517.50, 4517.54, and 4517.56 of the Revised Code.
(E) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed or applied to prohibit a franchisor from implementing in good faith any lawful affirmative action program designed to provide business opportunities for women and minorities.
Effective Date: 10-22-1987.