The First Circuit recently reversed the District of Massachusetts’s approval of a settlement award that improperly lacked any subclasses within the 4.8-million-person putative class, finding it “too difficult to determine whether the settlement treated class members equitably.” Murray v. Grocery Delivery E-Services USA, No. 21-1931, — F.4th — (1st Cir. Dec. 16, 2022).
The complaint alleged that defendant Grocery Delivery E-Services USA, d/b/a HelloFresh violated the TCPA through its marketing tactics by (1) calling former customers using an automated dialer, (2) calling former customers that were listed on the National Do-Not-Call registry, and (3) calling former customers that had asked HelloFresh not to contact them. The named plaintiffs—through a single plaintiff’s attorney that purported to represent the entire 4.8-million-person class—negotiated a $14 million settlement with HelloFresh, which the District Court approved without identifying any subclasses of plaintiffs.