The parties to a pending class action settlement in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act case hit a speed bump earlier this month when they notified the court in a joint status report that more than 7 million class members slipped through the cracks and were not provided direct notice by U.S. mail or email.
Five individuals sued Chase Bank for violations of the statute in Illinois federal court over allegedly illegal calls to their cellphones. The parties reached an agreement for $34 million, with an expected payout of between $20 and $40 for the more than 33 million class members. Last August, Judge Gary Feinerman granted preliminary approval for the deal and a class administrator began notifying the class.
The good news: The left-out class members were included in the parties’ estimates provided to the court regarding the class size at the time of preliminary approval. Also positive: Chase estimated that its records contain the necessary contact information for 99.8 percent of the affected individuals.
The bad news: Supplemental notice is required for the 7.1 million individuals, pushing back the deadlines to conclude the litigation and adding to the administrative expenses.
U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feinerman approved an amended schedule for the supplemental notice and litigation. The 7.1 million individuals will be provided an opportunity to submit claims, object to the settlement, or request exclusion from the deal by September 10, 2015, the court ordered.
The court did not extend the deadline to submit exclusion requests or file objections for those class members who already received notice. However, those individuals who received the initial notice and failed to submit a claim will be provided a reminder notice and given a deadline extension to file claims.
Costs for the reminder and supplemental notices will be paid from the settlement fund.
To read the joint status report in Gehrich v. Chase Bank, click here.
To read the court’s order, click here.
Why it matters: Notice snafus aside, the settlement in the Gehrich case is the latest example of multi-million dollar settlements for TCPA cases that include Capital One’s record $75.5 million agreement, a $45 million payout approved by a Montana federal court earlier this year in a suit against a wireless communications provider, and a $40 million deal by HSBC.