Plaintiff eDiscovery Uncovering Damaging Evidence in Papa John’s Class Action
The class action litigation in the U.S. District Court in Seattle against defendant Papa John’s has now entered the discovery phase. Plaintiffs are consumers who allege the pizza maker and franchisor of over 4,000 restaurants violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The class was certified last Friday, and plaintiff trial attorney Donald W. Heyrich was quoted as declaring the lawsuit to be a “wake up call to advertisers.”
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act bans unsolicited texts to consumers’ cell phones. The ban applies even if cell numbers are not on the national Do-Not-Call list. Plaintiffs allege defendant Papa John’s and marketer OnTime4U took their cell phone numbers from customer databases from ordering pizzas without their consent. In the litigation, Papa John’s is attempting to place all the blame on OnTime4U, although email chains produced in response to plaintiffs’ discovery requests are proving otherwise.
Email threads have uncovered admissions from defendants encouraging franchise owners to use OnTime4U’s services for the texting campaigns including internal emails acknowledging customer complaints, and admitting that the actions are likely illegal. Such emails may evidence that Papa John’s was initially a willing participant in the unlawful texting campaign, even though it attempted to distance itself later.
Email threads received as part of electronic data discovery in defense productions are often an important and fruitful source for uncovering admissions of liability. Contact us directly at 888-313-4457 to learn more about email threading and our plaintiff eDiscovery services and expert computer forensics for class action lawsuits and multidistrict litigation.