District Court Approves $14 Million Settlement Against HelloFresh in TCPA Class Action

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On October 15, 2021, Judge William G. Young of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts approved a $14 million settlement in a national class action lawsuit against meal-kit delivery service company, HelloFresh, for purported violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  See Murray v. Grocery Delivery E-Services USA Inc., No. 1:19-cv-12608.  In the complaint filed against HelloFresh in December 2019, the plaintiffs, who are former HelloFresh customers, alleged that HelloFresh inundated them with telemarketing calls without their prior express written consent, even though they were on the National Do Not Call Registry.

The settlement class includes U.S. residents from September 5, 2015 to December 31, 2019 to whom HelloFresh or one of its vendors (a) placed one or more calls to their cell phones via a dialing platform, (b) made at least two telemarketing calls during any 12-month period where their phone numbers appeared on the National Do Not Call Registry for at least 31 days before the calls, or (c) received one or more calls after registering the phone number with HelloFresh’s internal do-not-call list.

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Settlement Approval, which was filed in April, stated that the “proposed settlement encompasses 4,831,285 individuals,” and that of those, only “100,433 class members filed timely claim forms.”  Accordingly, the class members who submitted timely claim forms “stand to receive at least $89.18 each” as a result of the settlement, “an amount that far exceeds common settlements against large corporations alleged to have violated the TCPA.”  Only three notified class members – or 0.00000062% of settlement class members – objected to the settlement.

The settlement order requires HelloFresh to pay the $14 million settlement amount into a settlement fund for distribution.  $3.4 million of the settlement amount will be distributed to the plaintiffs’ attorneys for costs and fees.  $10,000 will be distributed to each of two named plaintiffs who brought the class action forward, and another seven named plaintiffs will receive amounts ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.  The fund administrator will receive $450,000.

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Settlement Approval calls the settlement “the largest in Massachusetts federal court history in a TCPA case.”

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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