The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the grant of class certification
for some 1,600 Domino’s Pizza delivery drivers in Minnesota, finding that
their claims lacked commonality. Luiken v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. 12-1216
(8th Cir., decided February 4, 2013).

The drivers claimed that Domino’s improperly withheld from them a fixed delivery charge imposed on customer orders. They contended that the charge was in the nature of a surcharge or gratuity under Minnesota law and, as such, must be paid to them. According to the court, liability was based on the objective, reasonable person standard, and what is objectively reasonable from the perspective of the customer “depends on the nature and context of the parties’ bargain.” Because some customers were told by drivers that Domino’s retained the charge and was not part of their tip and because the fixed charge was sometimes within the normal range for a tip, “but sometimes well outside it,” the certified class did not meet the requirements of commonality under class certification rules.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.