Class-Action Beverage Tax Lawsuit Against 7-Eleven Dismissed

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Class-Action Beverage Tax Lawsuit Against 7-Eleven Dismissed

7-Eleven Big Gulp filled with iced coffee

CHICAGO — One day after the Cook County Board of Illinois voted to repeal its penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened drinks, a lawsuit against 7-Eleven Inc. for allegedly misapplying the charge has been settled, a court record shows.

As CSNews Online previously reported, Attorneys Thomas Zimmerman, Sharon Harris, Matthew De Re, Nickolas Hagman and Maebetty Kirby, all from Zimmerman Law Offices of Chicago, filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of plaintiff Kelly Tarrant on Aug. 9.

The lawsuits alleged that 7-Eleven improperly charged Tarrant the county's penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax despite the fact that she purchased a Super Big Gulp cup filled with unsweetened coffee, which should have been exempt from the tax. Tarrant paid an extra 28 cents for her purchase, according to the filing.

Circuit Judge Celia Gamrath said in a court filing on Oct. 12 that the parties have agreed to dismiss the case. Her order notes a confidential agreement to settle the lawsuit, which sought class-action status, reported The Chicago Tribune.

Gamrath noted in her order that 7-Eleven has, among other steps, reprogrammed its registers not to charge the tax on such drinks. Additionally, the convenience store operator had told the judge that the changes were underway before Tarrant filed the lawsuit.

Lawyers in the case couldn’t be reached for immediate comment by the news outlet. 

Court records show that settlement talks have been occurring since at least last month in the case.

On Oct. 11, the tax was repealed, effective Dec. 1.

7-Eleven is headquartered in Irving, Texas. It operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 60,000 stores in 17 countries, including 10,700 in North America.