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Gordon Food Service Deceptive “Fuel Surcharge” Florida Class Action

Gordon Food Service, Inc. sells and distributes food to restaurants, health care and educational institutions, hotels, and other entities. This class action takes issue with the fuel surcharge that Gordon charges in addition to its prices for its food products. The complaint alleges, “Gordon’s representations, omissions, and practices in charging the Fuel Surcharge are deceptive and unfair” because, it says, the additional charge bears no relationship to actual increased fuel costs.

The class for this action is all entities who live in Florida and who paid Gordon a fuel surcharge, between March 26, 2017 and the date the class notice is distributed.

The plaintiff in this case is a business called Snellgrove’s Restaurant, Inc., which buys food from Gordon. Gordon charges a per-item fee for the food, then adds a fuel surcharge. The complaint alleges, “By using the term ‘Fuel Surcharge’—a term which Gordon has uniformly used on every invoice received by every [entity] charged this fee—Gordon represents that this fee is directly related to its increased fuel costs and that this fee will be used to defray such costs.”

But this is not true, the complaint says. It makes three allegations about why the fee is not a legitimate fuel surcharge:

  • The fuel surcharge does not fluctuate depending on Gordon’s actual increased (or decreased) fuel costs.
  • Gordon has not done a legitimate analysis as a means of figuring the proper amount of the fuel surcharge.
  • Gordon does not apply the fuel surcharge to offset fuel costs; instead, it takes it as profit.

The complaint contends that Gordon actually already recovers its increased fuel costs in the prices it charges for its food products: “These prices include the individual component costs of Gordon’s business, including—specifically—the costs of fuel and other overhead.”

The complaint claims that Gordon’s actions concerning the fuel surcharge are violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA), which forbids “unfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.”

Additionally, or in the alternative, it alleges unjust enrichment.

Snellgrove’s asks for “actual and consequential compensatory damages, and restitution” from Gordon’s and “only the excessive portions of the fees as determined by comparing the revenue to the discrete costs not recovered elsewhere that Gordon identifies as justifying the fees.” Unusually, the complaint says it “does not seek punitive damages, attorney’s fees, or prospective injunctive relief.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Accounting and Charges

Most Recent Case Event

Gordon Food Service Deceptive “Fuel Surcharge” Florida Complaint

March 26, 2021

Gordon Food Service, Inc. sells and distributes food to restaurants, health care and educational institutions, hotels, and other entities. This class action takes issue with the fuel surcharge that Gordon charges in addition to its prices for its food products. The complaint alleges, “Gordon’s representations, omissions, and practices in charging the Fuel Surcharge are deceptive and unfair” because, it says, the additional charge bears no relationship to actual increased fuel costs.

Gordon Food Service Deceptive “Fuel Surcharge” Florida Complaint

Case Event History

Gordon Food Service Deceptive “Fuel Surcharge” Florida Complaint

March 26, 2021

Gordon Food Service, Inc. sells and distributes food to restaurants, health care and educational institutions, hotels, and other entities. This class action takes issue with the fuel surcharge that Gordon charges in addition to its prices for its food products. The complaint alleges, “Gordon’s representations, omissions, and practices in charging the Fuel Surcharge are deceptive and unfair” because, it says, the additional charge bears no relationship to actual increased fuel costs.

Gordon Food Service Deceptive “Fuel Surcharge” Florida Complaint
Tags: Extra Charges, False or unlawful fuel surcharges, Unfair Charges