Posted by Chris Alarie on Thu, 12/22/2022 - 07:21
Last year, HelloFresh entered into a $14 million class action settlement for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This week, a court threw out that settlement due to issues relating to the composition of the class and the different kinds of TCPA violations committed by the defendant.
The First Circuit did not accept the terms of the settlement in Murray v. Grocery Delivery E-Services USA Inc. The court ruled that the agreement to create a common fund settlement for all claimants was unacceptable because there are two different sorts of claimants within the class.
Some claimants allege violations of the TCPA’s automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) restrictions while others allege violations of the law’s rules against calling numbers on the Do Not Call (DNC) List. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Facebook v. Duguid, those ATDS claims may not have the same validity as the DNC claims. Indeed, when we first covered this case last year, we noted the significance of the DNC claims following the Facebook ruling.
By the court’s reasoning, the ATDS claimants should not have the same access to the common fund and the same counsel as the DNC claimants, due to the disparity in apparent validity of these claims. With the settlement no longer valid, the defendant and the different classes of plaintiffs (perhaps with new counsel) could negotiate a new settlement. Or this case could be relitigated. We will continue to monitor this case as it proceeds further.