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Report: Papa John's Faces Lawsuit Over Text Messages

The problem was with spam, not the pizza.

A class-action lawsuit seeking $250 million has been filed against the Papa John's pizza chain because of a 500,000 unwanted text messages sent to customers, CNN Money is reporting. The CNN story reported that Papa John's franchises sent blast text messages through a third-party services -- and, after ordering a pizza, some customers began getting dozens ads for pizza specials, sometimes in the middle of the night.The lawsuit alleges that such text blasts violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, the CNN story said. The corporate text messaging for Papa John's, which is based in Louisville, is not a part of the suit, CNN Money reports.Quoting Donald Heyrich, an attorney for the plantiffs, CNN Money  said: 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 cellphones."The Atlantic Wire addsthis point: Papa Johns also has a history of coming out on top in lawsuits like this. Beginning in 1998, Papa Johns defended itself against false advertising claims made by Pizza Hut over its tagline "Better ingredients. Better pizza." Pizza Hut denied that Papa Johns had better ingredients. The U.S. Supreme Court took Papa Johns side.

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.