Papa Johns lawsuit

Popular pizza chain Papa John's is facing a $250-million lawsuit for sending 500,000 spam messages.
The plaintiffs claim that Papa John's franchises sent customers a total of 500,000 unwanted messages in early 2010. CNN Money reports that the spam texts offered deals for pizza, and some customers complained they were getting 15 or 16 texts in a row, even during the middle of the night, according to Donald Heyrich,
an attorney representing the class.

"After I ordered from Papa John's, my telephone started beeping with text messages advertising pizza specials," Erin Chutich, one of the plaintiffs, said in a statement. "Papa John's never asked permission to send me text message advertisements."
According to the lawsuit , which was certified by U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour Nov. 9 in Seattle, certain Papa John's franchisees gave OnTime4U lists of phone numbers of customers without getting consent from those individuals first.
Caroline Oyler, Papa John's head of legal affairs, said that Papa John's corporate text messaging program was not viable to the lawsuit since the texts were sent "by third-party vendors and a small number of franchisees,", reports CNN Money.
CNN also revealed that the class-action lawsuit could lead to the largest damages awards ever recovered under the TCPA, according to Heyrich. The plaintiffs are seeking $500 per text, but they could be awarded up to $1,500 for each message if a jury rules that Papa John's willfully broke the law.
"We have noticed text message spam is increasing in part because advertisers see it as a great way to get their material directly into the hands of customers," Heyrich said. "We hope this case keeps text message spam out of cell phones."
"Many customers complained to Papa John's that they wanted the text messages to stop, and yet thousands of spam text messages were sent week after week," plaintiff lawyer Donald Heyrich said in a statement, reported CNET. "This should be a wake up call to advertisers. Consumers do not want spam on their cell phones. If you do not have permission from your customers, do not send them text messages. It's as simple as that."
The nationwide class-action case was certified Nov. 9 by U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour in Seattle.
Papa John's plans to appeal the judge's ruling, Oyler said. "We don't agree with it and will continue to aggressively defend it," Oyler explained, as quoted by CNN. "We'll continue to litigate the case and defend the lawsuit and move to have it dismissed."

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