The ruling paves the way for what could be one of the largest damages awards ever recovered under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The class action lawsuit contends that 500,000 illegal text messages were sent to Papa John's customers across the country. Papa John's customers could be awarded $500 or more in statutory damages for each text message.
Erin Chutich, one of the plaintiffs in the case, stated, "After I ordered from Papa John's, my telephone started beeping with text messages advertising pizza specials. Papa John's never asked permission to send me text message advertisements." Chutich added, "Hopefully, this will be an important victory for consumers. Our lawsuit is about keeping spam from spreading from our email to our cell phones."
Attorneys representing Papa John's customers agreed. Donald W. Heyrich, of Heyrich Kalish McGuigan PLLC who represents consumers in spam text message lawsuits, stated, "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." Heyrich added, "This should be a wakeup 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."