It has been 50 days since our last Papa John’s update

Illustration for article titled It has been 50 days since our last Papa John’s update
Photo: J. Michael Jones (iStock)

You guys! It’s been 50 days since our last Papa John’s update. What have we been doing with ourselves all this time? (Other than spending the holidays with our families and whatnot?) Well, beleaguered ex-CEO John Schnatter finally scored something in the win column, says Nation’s Restaurant News: “A Delaware state court judge has ordered Papa John’s International Inc. to hand over internal documents to ousted founder and former CEO John Schnatter.” (The story does not mention why this was ruled in Delaware, when PJ’s is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.)

Schnatter sued in July to get access to these documents and records “related to the decision-making process behind his dismissal.” In case your pizza-scandal memory is foggy: Schnatter stepped down as CEO in December 2017 and later resigned in July 2018 as chair of the board after it was revealed that he used a racial slur on a marketing call. (He then almost immediately regretted that resignation, saying that the board asked him to step down.) The court ruled that since Schnatter remains on the board and is the company’s largest shareholder, he still has the right to view those documents. Should be fun reading for Schnatter to curl up with on a cozy winter evening—what could be more exciting than poring of his former colleague’s possibly scathing comments?

When Schnatter filed this suit in July, the Papa John’s company dismissively called it “needless and wasteful.” As of September 2018, Papa John’s is still the third-largest pizza delivery service worldwide, notes NRN. Recent searches for a potential investor have yet to reach fruition, and sales are down for the individual franchisees.


Here we were wondering how we were going to fill these pizza-news annals in 2019, and once again Papa John’s riveting saga bubbles up once again! We’ll be back here in a few weeks with another update, most likely.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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(The story does not mention why this was ruled in Delaware, when PJ’s is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.)

The internet is endless rabbit hole... So it turns out Delaware has something called a Court of Chancery. What makes a court of chancery special is that it is based on equity law rather than the more traditional common law we’re used to. What differentiates equity law from common law is among other things:

In modern practice, perhaps the most important distinction between law and equity is the set of remedies each offers. The most common civil remedy a court of law can award is monetary damages. Equity, however, enters injunctions or decrees directing someone either to act or to forbear from acting. Often, this form of relief is in practical terms more valuable to a litigant; for example, a plaintiff whose neighbor will not return his only milk cow, which had wandered onto the neighbor’s property, may want that particular cow back, not just its monetary value.

So thanks to Papa John’s and its racist founder, I learned several new things today.