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Residents sue Chicago Tribune over ‘nuisance’ coupons

Updated: June 26, 2013 6:12AM

City residents sick of the RedPlum/ShopLocal coupons piling up on their front doorsteps filed a civil lawsuit earlier this month urging the Chicago Tribune and Valassis Communications to stop distributing the mailings on their properties.

The roughly two-dozen plaintiffs, many of whom live or own property in Logan Square, believe the fliers are a “nuisance” and are concerned about the environmental harms involved in the excess paper being used, their attorney Michael Jaskula said Friday.

More importantly, when the coupons accumulate after weeks of delivery, they give the impression no one is home, the lawsuit alleges.

At least one plaintiff blames the mound of mass mailings for a recent burglary.

“By continuing to deliver RedPlum/ShopLocal to addresses where previous weeks’ additions have piled up, defendants have shown a malicious, willful and wanton disregard for the rights of and for the safety of the public in general and of the plaintiffs in particular,” the lawsuit says.

Landlord Amy Little said each week she drives to her 10 properties in East Village, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Little Village and Pilsen, picks up the RedPlum/ShopLocal mailings and takes them to her Oak Park home to recycle.

“I spend an hour a week removing the plastic and recycling the stuff,” said Little, one of the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit.

“It’s a pain in the neck. It’s too much.”

The plaintiffs, who said they made requests to cease the mailings, are seeking $50,000 each in punitive damages.

A Chicago Tribune spokeswoman said in a statement that if subscribers want the deliveries to stop, they can call 800-TRIBUNE or email

“While we do not typically comment on lawsuits filed, we are aware of the pending litigation regarding the delivery of weekly LocalValues packages to select Chicago properties,” Maggie Wartik said in the statement.

“We understand the frustration felt by some who wish to opt out, and we are revisiting that process in order to improve the customer experience.”

Since the lawsuit was filed May 9 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, plaintiffs have noticed a drop in the number of fliers at their buildings, Jaskula said.

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