In another multimillion-dollar Telephone Consumer Protection Act settlement, Interline Brands agreed to pay $40 million to a class of faxed-ad recipients.
Craftwood Lumber Company filed suit in 2011, alleging that Interline violated the statute by sending unsolicited fax advertisements as well as ads that failed to comply with the TCPA’s opt-out notice requirements.
After multiple mediation attempts, the parties managed to reach a deal following a settlement conference. Interline agreed to provide $40 million for an all-inclusive settlement fund that will cover payment to class members, class counsel fees and costs, administrative costs, and an incentive award for the named plaintiff.
The defendant promised not to object to an award for class counsel that does not exceed $12 million as well as an incentive award for Craftwood that does not exceed $25,000.
Members of the class – a nationwide group of fax recipients over a four-year period – will receive shares based on the number of faxes sent by defendants. One fax equals one share, according to the motion in support of the proposed deal, with the value per share to be determined by dividing the total number of shares awarded to all settlement class members by the remainder of the settlement fund.
To determine the number of fax transmissions, the settlement administrator will rely on the Master Facsimile Transmission Database or upon submission of proof by a class member, including a copy of a fax or a fax log.
To read the proposed settlement agreement in Craftwood Lumber Co. v. Interline Brands, Inc., click here.
Why it matters: The deal adds Interline to the growing list of defendants that have paid tens of millions of dollars to settle TCPA class actions, joining the ranks of companies such as Capital One ($75 million) and Papa John’s ($16.5 million). The settlement still faces the hurdle of judicial approval, which could prove challenging, particularly after the presiding judge rejected an earlier attempt at a deal.