On October 23, 2015, B&B partners, Eric LeBlanc and Todd Bennett, obtained a favorable jury verdict for their client in the United States Federal District Court in Boston. Mr. Bennett and Mr. LeBlanc represented PMLRA Pizza, Inc. (“PMLRA”), a franchisee of Domino’s Pizza, and Henry Askew (individually), the President of PMLRA Pizza, Inc.
At issue in the case, was:
a) Whether or not delivery charges are “Service Charges” under the Massachusetts Tips Act,
b) Whether a reasonable customer would be aware that a delivery charge was not a gratuity.
The case was brought by a former PMLRA food delivery driver, seeking compensation under the Massachusetts Tips Act and the Massachusetts minimum wage statute.
As to the issue of whether delivery charges were “service charges” under the Tips Act, PMLRA argued that the evidence showed that that these charges were not service charges under the law but, instead were used to address rising operational costs, versus payment for the actual service of delivery.
The case was tried over the course of one week before Hon. Judge William G. Young, and the jury returned its verdict in favor of PMLRA.
Congratulations to Mr. LeBlanc and Mr. Bennett for a hard fought federal court trial victory.