That’s how much class counsel will make off the latest mega TCPA class action settlement. This one a straight DNC class.
I’m not sure how Paronich will be dividing his share with the Robins Kaplan folks, but there is plenty to go around here.
Law360 is calling the HelloFresh TCPA settlement, the largest TCPA settlement in Massachusetts state history. And it probably is.
But at a mere $14MM it doesn’t sniff the top ten in terms of overall largest TCPA settlements in history.
I’ve said it before , I’ll say it again, the TCPA is the single largest cashcow for the Plaintiff’s bar in history. More multi-million dollar settlements under than TCPA than any other federal statute. By a mile.
And one of the biggest reasons for this? The National Consumer Law Center. The NCLC.
These are the folks who tirelessly lobby to the FCC and Congress to expand the TCPA and make it easier for Plaintiff’s lawyers to sue YOU in TCPA class actions.
And yet they–the NCLC–keep making money off these settlements.
Its incredibly dirty. They advocate for more class actions. Then the class action lawyers pay them off as part of the very class action settlements enabled by the NCLC’s handiwork.
And I’m the only one that talks about it.
So in the HelloFresh settlement–found here HelloFresh Settlement— the NCLC is once again identified as the cy pres recipient. Meaning they may net tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars from the settlement.
They recently received over $1MM from a judgment in another TCPA suit.
And they’ve been repeatedly listed as a “charity” worthy of receiving money from these settlements, as the Plaintiff’s bar scratches its back.
Turning back to HelloFresh for a second, there’s another big take away here. The allegations in the suit are that the Plaintiff–a former customer–began receiving marketing calls despite the fact that she cancelled her subscription. Since the EBR timeframe had run and her number was on the DNC list, she sued.
Notice this was a straight DNC claim case when the case was filed. And the settlement class is limited to DNC issues:
All persons in the United States from September 5, 2015 to December 31, 2019 to whom HelloFresh, either directly or by a vendor of HelloFresh, (a) placed one or more calls on their cellphones via a dialing platform; (b) placed at least two telemarketing calls during any 12-month period where their phone numbers appeared on the NDNCR for at least 31 days before the calls; and/or (c) placed one or more calls after registering the landline, wireless, cell, or mobile telephone number on HelloFresh’s Internal Do-Not-Call List.
According to the preliminary approval papers there are nearly 5 million people in the class.
Now the class does not exclude folks who consented or who had an EBR with HelloFresh, so not all 5 million people had valid claims. And at $2.91 per class member HelloFresh got a nice deal here–don’t let the $14MM price tag fool you. (Compare that to the $198.00 per text settlement I wrote about last week.)
Anyway the story here isn’t the settlement per se. Its a fine settlement by another company caught in the TCPA crosshairs. To some degree its unavoidable and I don’t fault the Defendant for the settlement. (But the choice of NCLC as cy pres is unforgivable.)
The story is that this is a straight DNC class action netting a $14MM settlement folks. That’s groundbreaking. And it proves that even after the Supreme Court watered down the TCPA’s ATDS provisions, the DNC provisions–which now animate the majority of TCPA class actions–remain extremely dangerous.