Court Approves $14 Million TCPA Class Action Settlement

On October 15, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts entered a final order approving a $14 million class action settlement resolving claims against Grocery Delivery E-Services USA, Inc. d/b/a Hello Fresh for alleged TCPA violations.

According to Plaintiff’s attorney Anthony Paronich, the Hello Fresh settlement is the largest TCPA class action settlement in Massachusetts state history.

The underlying Complaint was filed on December 30, 2019 on behalf of named plaintiff Grace Murray, and alleged that Hello Fresh violated the TCPA by (1) placing telemarketing calls to consumers whose phone numbers were listed on the federal Do Not Call registry; (2) placing telemarketing calls to consumers using an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) without prior express written consent; and (3) placing telemarketing calls to consumers who had requested to be placed on Hello Fresh’s internal Do Not Call list.

The settlement was actually reached in or around November 2020, roughly six months before the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark TCPA decision in Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid. As most readers know, the Facebook decision held that, to qualify as an ATDS under the TCPA, a dialing system must have the capacity to generate numbers randomly and sequentially – mere storage of phone numbers is not enough.

As predicted by many, the Facebook decision has led to a shift in TCPA litigation away from claims relating to the use of an ATDS, to lawsuits based on calls to numbers on the National DNC, as was the situation in the Hello Fresh case.

Facebook has also given rise to an increase in state court litigation asserting violations of state telemarketing laws, particularly in states that have adopted a statutory framework that corresponds with the TCPA, such as the newly amended Florida Telephone Solicitation Act.

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