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McDonald’s settles lawsuit with Black franchise owner

McDonald's golden arches logos are seen on May 19, 2021, at a Pennsylvania location. (Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

(CNN) — McDonald’s has settled a lawsuit filed by a Black franchise owner that alleged the company steered him toward less profitable restaurants in lower-income, predominantly Black neighborhoods because of his race.

Retired Major League Baseball player Herbert Washington filed the civil suit in Ohio in February, as CNN reported at the time.

Washington’s allegations were similar to the complaints made by a group of 52 former Black franchise operators, who sued the company over alleged racial discrimination last year.

Washington, who has been operating McDonald’s franchise locations since 1980, had claimed in the suit that over the years, McDonald’s made it harder for him to succeed compared to white franchise operators. He said that the company had been trying to drive him out because he flagged the alleged discrimination.

McDonald’s said in a statement sent to CNN that in agreement to exit the McDonald’s System and dismiss his suit, the company agreed to purchase the 13 restaurants Washington owned for $33.5 million. They said in the statement that the money is “no more than what we deem a fair price for the value of the restaurants.”

The McDonald’s statement also said the court did not find any laws were violated by the company.

“Discrimination has no place at McDonald’s,” the statement said. “While we were confident in the strength of our case, this resolution aligns with McDonald’s values and enables us to continue focusing on our commitments to the communities that we serve.”

CNN has reached out to Washington’s attorney for additional information but has not heard back.