BookHolders is a chain that sells and rents textbooks to college students, with locations near seven campuses in five states, including USF Tampa. To advertise its business, employees walk through campus distributing flyers and other written materials. This is done without the permission of USF.
The company, owned by Joe Verde, is being sued on five counts: Violation of the Florida litter law, violation of university policy, nuisance, permanent injunction and negligent supervision.
According to the complaint filed Nov. 8, BookHolders is allegedly refusing demands by USF to stop “dumping” flyers in a “negligent manner.”
The school has a policy in place which prohibits unauthorized solicitation: The University of South Florida authorizes the solicitation and/or sale of goods and services by external organizations on its Tampa Campus only through formal written contractual relationships or through authorizing vendors to participate in Bull Market. Commercial solicitation or the sale of goods and services by an external organization on the Tampa Campus is otherwise committed.
USF Tampa also operates its own campus bookstore in partnership with Barnes & Noble.
Flyers are thrown around campus including in classrooms, hallways and other outdoor areas. Oftentimes the distribution interrupts professor’s lectures.
The litter has caused a nuisance for the university as it must pay custodial staff to clean up the mess. In the complaint, USF claims that it has spent over $5,000 cleaning up the flyers left behind by BookHolders employees.
USF demands damages be repaid for the cost of cleanup and is requesting an injunction be placed on the company to further prevent the distribution of flyers.
USF Tampa is on Fowler Avenue and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. The USF Barnes & Noble is at 4202 E. Fowler Ave. BookHolders is located at 11802 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., adjacent to the campus.