Papa John’s sued for spamming

I suspect it’s all the election related statements by Papa John’s CEO that brought this suit against Papa John’s to the notice of the press.

Spam emails may cost Papa John’s $250M. I was kinda interested, but I don’t think I can blog about this on the work blog. It’s SMS spam, not email spam and rather outside my space there. But it’s kinda interesting and I posted a little about it on FB and decided to turn it into a blog post here.

According to the news and the couple court docs I read, the issue is that a SMS spammer convinced a number of Papa John’s Franchise owners that they could send text messages to customers without explicit permission. This appears to be counter to the TCPA and Papa John’s was taken to court.

As with many anti-spam cases, it’s been long an involved. The initial complaint was filed back in 2010 and has generated nearly 375 court documents in that time. Reading through the docket I see multiple motions on contempt, some motions on sanctions and just generally a lot of legal manuvering.

I grabbed an order or two to see if I could sort out what was going on. It appears the judge has had Just About Enough of this baloney. Order on Motion for Sanctions from September 2012 is one example of the judge’s waning patience.

The Court further takes this opportunity to emphasize that it is growing increasingly weary of the parties’ conduct in litigating this case, which includes the adoption of overly technical interpretation of obligations, the frequent failure to confer in good faith prior to making discovery motions, and the reliance in written documentation on misleading statements of fact and citations. There is enough blame to go around. However, the parties should anticipate that sanctions will be liberally imposed in the future where the high standard of professionalism that the judges of this District expect is not met.

Anyway, the class is certified and the case can proceed. I’ll probably forget to update it. But if the allegations are true, I think that the franchises that turned over customer data (and the SMS spammer) are probably on the hook for violations. Whether corporate is liable is an interesting question. But I’m getting that the judge is a bit annoyed.


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