SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – The operator of two California restaurants alleges a fuel surcharge on its invoices from two food and restaurant suppliers is "nothing by an illegal profit enhancer."

C & J Inc., doing business as Armadillo's Restaurant and Mario's Ristorante Italiano, on behalf of themselves, and all others similarly situated filed a complaint on Nov. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Sysco Corp. and Sysco San Francisco Inc. alleging deceit, fraud and misrepresentation, breach of contract and other counts.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that it purchased food and restaurant supplies from defendants and claims it was routinely and systematically charged a fuel surcharge. The plaintiff alleges it was consistently charged $5, an amount allegedly unrelated to defendants' actual or increased fuel costs. The plaintiff also claims the invoices provide no explanation of the fuel surcharge and is simply listed as a line-item directly under the various food and restaurant items ordered from them. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants engaged in a widespread and systematic practice of charging excessive amounts for their fees and misled consumers in believing that the surcharge is legitimate and rationally related to the costs of fuel.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment for actual, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's fees, costs, prejudgment interest, and all other relief which the court deems equitable and just. It is represented by Lawrence G. Papale of Law Offices of Lawrence G. Papale in St. Helena, California and Joseph John Turri and Attila Panczel of Insurance Litigators & Counsellors PLC in Ukiah, California.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number 3:17-cv-06553-RS

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