Johnson & Bell Shareholder, Ramses Jalalpour, recently secured summary judgment in favor of his client, a Chicago-area pizza parlor, in which the plaintiff ultimately planned to seek class action certification. In 2020, the pizza parlor was hit with a one-count class action complaint for violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA).
This dispute focused on the “Receipt Provision” of the FACTA: “[N]o person that accepts credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of sale or transaction.” In this case, plaintiff alleged that receipts issued by the pizza parlor for delivery orders were not compliant with FACTA because the expiration date of the credit card was shown on the receipt. The pizza parlor’s receipts for delivery orders contained the expiration date of the card, but its receipts for non-delivery orders did not.
Plaintiff claimed that the Receipt Provision of FACTA is so widely known amongst businesses that the pizza parlor’s violation must be considered willful. As a result, plaintiff asserted that the pizza parlor was liable to plaintiff and members of her class for statutory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs. The statutory damages alone were potentially ruinous for the pizza parlor.
Jalalpour argued that it was objectively reasonable that the Receipt Provision did not apply to delivery orders where the food is paid for at the restaurant, but the delivery is made at the customer’s home. The Receipt Provision requires that the receipt be provided to the cardholder at “the point of sale or transaction.” Jalalpour’s position was that plaintiff’s receipt was not provided to her at the point of sale or transaction because the point of sale or transaction was at the restaurant and the receipt was delivered to her home. Plaintiff countered by asserting that the point of transaction was at her home at the time the food was delivered.
Ultimately, the court found defense’s arguments more compelling – that the pizza parlor’s interpretation of the Receipt Provision is objectively reasonable. As a result, the court said the pizza parlor could not have “willfully” violated the Receipt Provision and granted summary judgment in the pizza parlor’s favor.