Class Action Claims BJ’s Overcharges on Sales Tax


If you like to hunt for sales at BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc., a Miami attorney is trying to put more change back in your pocket.

Steve Silverman of Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine filed a class action complaint alleging the Westborough, Massachusetts-based warehouse club overcharged Florida customers on sales tax when they shopped in stores.

His client, Laura Bugliaro, bought a 55-inch Samsung TV last year at a BJ’s store in Cutler Bay. The TV was discounted to $770 from $1,400, but she was charged sales tax based on the full price, according to her complaint.

“We think that that’s clearly wrong,” Silverman said of the $98 sales tax charge.

The Florida Administrative Code states a retailer offering a discount may tax only the discounted price, according to the complaint.

The plaintiff alleges it’s a “regular practice” for BJ’s to improperly collect sales tax on discounted items at its 31 stores in Florida, and Silverman believes there could be tens of thousands of affected BJ’s club members.

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Chambers USA Ranks Kluger Kaplan Partners in 2015 Edition

Miami, FL – Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, P.L is pleased to announce that 3 of the Firm’s partners have been recognized in the 2015 edition of Chambers USA, one of the most esteemed legal publications in the world. The Chambers USA guide annually ranks preeminence in key practice areas, and achievements of law firms and lawyers throughout the country considering the complexity of the work, firm growth and client service.

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Does E-Discovery Violate Due Process? Or is it Much Ado About Nothing?

By Steve I. Silverman

Recently I read a series of articles addressing the question of whether the e-discovery process violates a defendant’s due process rights because it forces the defendant to part with its property (in this case, money) without due process of law.  The rationale for this argument is that because e-discovery costs can be significant and generally the producing party must bear the costs, defendants are being deprived of their money simply by being named in a lawsuit, and without due process – the opportunity to be heard before being deprived of a right.  This issue tends to be most prevalent in federal courts where the e-discovery process is being evaluated, questioned, and modified by opinions issued  on what seems almost like a daily  basis.

As a general rule, the producing party must bear the cost of producing its discovery.  As electronic discovery becomes the norm in many cases, compliance may become extremely expensive in instances, for example, where the discovery sought exists only on backup tapes, which require intervention from IT specialists to retrieve.  In fact, plaintiffs may use the discovery process to pressure a defendant to settle the case simply to avoid the cost of compliance with discovery.   While there is the opportunity for abuse in the discovery process, I disagree that a defendant is without due process protections.

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