(Above, left to right) Michael A. Chagares, Kent A. Jordan, and Thomas I. Vanaskie, judges on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals who will hear arguments on February 12 in the class action lawsuit against Restaurant.com.
4-Feb-15 Two attorneys will each get 15 minutes before three federal appellate judges in Philadelphia next week, with the outcome potentially costing a Chicago company $1 million.
Restaurant.com, owned by two River North residents, has been defending itself since 2010 against a class action lawsuit filed by two New Jersey residents who bought gift certificates from the companys website. Larissa Shelton and Gregory Bohus are suing RDC on behalf of themselves and others over certificates that had expiration dates and a disclaimer in violation of New Jersey law. That is no longer in dispute, after being argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court.
A United States District Court in New Jersey dismissed the lawsuit on July 10, 2014, but it was appealed eight days later.
What the Third Circuit Court of Appeals will now decide is whether a new rule of law was created, meaning RDC will not be penalized as long as its certificates continue to be in compliance, or if the rulings can be applied retroactively, in which case RDC could have to pay $100 each for certificates sold in the past penalties that could total an estimated $1 million.
Bruce Greenberg will argue for Shelton and Bohus on February 12, Michael McDonald for RDC.
Dr. Kenneth Chessick, a lawyer, and his wife, Ellen Chessick, who is president of Marina Towers Condominium Association, own Restaurant.com.