A federal judge in Illinois recently granted final approval to a $40 million TCPA class action settlement between plaintiffs and credit card issuer HSBC. It is believed to be the third largest settlement ever under the statute with the same judge coincidentally approving the largest ever settlement with Capital One just weeks prior.
On February 27, District Judge James F. Holderman in the Northern District of Illinois, granted final approval of the settlement that will see HSBC Bank pay nearly $40 million to 286,000 class members to end the litigation.
In the case, Wilkins v. HSBC, plaintiffs alleged that the bank repeatedly contacted them on cell phones with automated messages. The plaintiffs, all HSNC credit card customers, did not elaborate on the content of HSBC’s alleged messages other than to allege that HSBC made the calls for non-emergency purposes in violation of the TCPA.
In the process of the lawsuit, the parties estimated that the potential class included 9,065,262 members and that HSBC made 344,351,123 phone calls in alleged violation of the TCPA.
After the settlement was approved by all parties and notifications were sent out to the class, 286,433 class members filed timely claims. They will be getting checks of about $100 each. The final agreement also called for payments of $5,000 each to the two named lead plaintiffs.
The attorneys for class had initially asked for nearly $12 million in fees related to the case, or 30 percent of the settlement. But Judge Holderman reduced the total attorney payout to about $9.5 million using a different calculation, which came out to 23.75 percent of the total settlement amount.
In his approval opinion and order, Judge Holderman consistently referenced a separate TCPA class action settlement with Capital One. In fact, he began the order writing, “This is the second multi-million dollar class action settlement this court has reviewed and addressed in the last three weeks in which the plaintiff class has sued credit card companies for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.”
Holderman had just granted final approval to the largest TCPA settlement just weeks before. In that case, Capital One and three collection agencies agreed to pay $75 million to settle TCPA litigation.