Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore Secures Victory for Florida Taxpayers (and Pizza Lovers!)
The attorneys at Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore fight for you!
(Spoiler alert: Check out www.FloridaDeliveryChargeSettlement.com if you had a Papa John’s pizza delivered to you between March 28, 2010 and December 1, 2014. You can make a claim for one or more discounts on future online orders!)
Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore’s attorneys recently settled a class-action lawsuit on behalf of millions of Floridians who buy pizza for delivery from the national pizza chain Papa John’s. For many years, Papa John’s and all but 16 of its franchise restaurants in Florida have charged and collected sales tax on its delivery fees. A group of Papa John’s customers, represented by Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore, sued to halt the practice and to obtain a refund of the monies alleged to have been wrongfully collected as sales tax. While a few extra pennies here and there may not sound like much, Papa John’s restaurants make many pizza deliveries and, when suit was filed, were collecting about $100,000 in sales taxes every month in Florida. At $0.21 a delivery, that’s a lot of deliveries – and a lot of money!
Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore sued, contending that it was improper under Florida law for Papa John’s to charge a sales tax on a separately stated delivery fee that could be avoided at the election of the customer – here, by simply picking the pizza up at the restaurant instead of having it delivered. Though the case was hotly contested throughout the litigation, Papa John’s eventually was able to confirm the correctness of its customers’ legal position with the Florida Department of Revenue. Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore negotiated a settlement with Papa John’s in which the company agreed, reasonably and responsibly, to structure a mechanism where most of its customers can recoup all – and, in some cases, even more — of what Papa John’s had charged them over a four-year period when it had collected sales tax on delivery fees.
What this means is that anyone paying sales tax on delivery fees in the claim period can obtain one or more coupons for a significant discount on one or more of their next delivery order from Papa John’s.
Beyond agreeing to pay its customers who have been harmed, Papa John’s also agreed to stop charging sales tax on its delivery fees. All Florida franchisees who had previously charged sales tax have ceased doing so as well — thereby saving Floridians over $1,000,000 a year in unnecessary and improper sales tax payments on delivery fees.
To make a claim, Papa John’s Florida customers can go to this special website to determine their eligibility and to file a claim: www.FloridaDeliveryChargeSettlement.com.
Anyone who purchased an order for delivery from a Florida Papa John’s restaurant at any time between March 28, 2010 and December 1, 2014, and who was charged and paid sales tax on a delivery fee, is a Class Member. Thus, if you ordered food for delivery during this period from any Papa John’s restaurant located in Florida—other than certain restaurants in Florida’s Panhandle (Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Panama City, Destin, Crestview, Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Milton, and Panama City Beach)—and paid a delivery fee on your order, then you are part of the Settlement Class and may make a claim for benefits.
Simply go to the website and submit your claim: www.FloridaDeliveryChargeSettlement.com.
The value of the purchase discounts that Settlement Class Members will receive will be based on the number of delivery orders each class member purchased from Papa John’s between March 28, 2010 and December 1, 2014 (called “the Class Period”). The purchase discounts are subject to certain conditions and will only be valid when making an online purchase from a Papa John’s Florida restaurant.
- Settlement Class Members who paid for between 1 and 9 delivery orders during the Class Period will receive a purchase discount of $2.00.
- Settlement Class Members who paid for between 10 and 24 delivery orders during the Class Period will receive a purchase discount of $4.00.
- Settlement Class Members who paid for between 25 and 49 delivery orders during the Class Period will receive one purchase discount of $5.00 and one purchase discount of $2.00.
- Settlement Class Members who paid for 50 or more delivery orders during the Class Period will receive two purchase discounts of $5.00 each and one purchase discount of $2.00.
The deadline for making a claim is December 31, 2015, so do not delay. And please pass the word on to your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues!
Kudos to Papa John’s for resolving this dispute and doing the right thing.