A South Florida class action lawsuit accusing BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. of deceptive and unfair trade practices has bounced back from an appellate reversal with a trial court ruling granting class certification.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas expressed confidence in claims from named plaintiff Laura Bugliaro, whose 2015 complaint alleged the discount chain was charging members sale tax based on the original prices of products, instead of their discounted value.
Despite objections from BJ’s that it doesn’t have the ability to pinpoint its Floridabased members, Thomas found that its records reveal who bought what and where they got it. According to the ruling, BJ’s still hasn’t changed its taxation policies and ”continues to act inconsistent with this court’s interpretation” of governing statutes and regulations.
BJ’s Wholesale has denied any wrongdoing, and said it gives all sales tax to the state.
BJ’s argued the expense and complexity of a class action was unnecessary, claiming the class was undefinable and the suit involved too many individual issues. It also claimed that complying with an injunction would mean creating new policies for all members—not just those living in Florida, as the lawsuit requests.
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by rachel lean
march 20, 2020