The controversial new “soda pop tax” that went into effect last month has already sparked class-action lawsuits against retailers and restaurants for allegedly miscalculating the tax, but David Almeida, an attorney at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, believes these suits likely are aimed only at generating quick paydays for plaintiffs' lawyers.
PepsiCo has become the latest soft drinks vendor to be accused of not properly collecting Cook County’s new so-called “pop tax,” after a Chicago law firm which has already sued 7-Eleven, Subway and Jewel-Osco, also filed suit against PepsiCo, saying the food and beverage giant should be made to pay for allegedly forcing customers to pay the county tax on bottled water purchased at Pepsi-branded vending machines.
Walgreens has become the first retailer hit with a class action lawsuit for allegedly wrongly making customers pay Cook County’s so-called “pop tax” on drink purchases that should have been exempt, just two days after the tax began to be collected and about a week after a judge brushed aside retailers' concerns they could be targeted by such litigation.
Cook County has launched what a judge has called an “unprecedented” and “chilling” attempt to force an industry group and six supermarket companies who challenged the county’s new so-called “pop tax” to pay the county at least $17 million for suing and securing a restraining order which delayed the implantation of the tax by nearly a month.
As a Cook County judge prepares to rule later this week on whether the county should be allowed to begin collecting its so-called sweetened beverage tax, county officials say the county has banked much of its budget hopes for the coming year on the $17 million a month in revenue they expect the tax will pour into county coffers.
Retailers: Cook County soda tax unconstitutional, leaving drink sellers exposed to penalties, lawsuits
Saying Cook County rules would leave them unable to collect and pay the proper amount of taxes on the sodas, sweet teas and other sweetened drinks they sell, while leaving them exposed to penalties and lawsuits, a group of grocers, through their trade association, have asked a Cook County judge to block the scheduled July 1 implementation of the county’s so-called soda tax.