Payne & Fears secured final approval of the Interline class action settlement from Federal District Judge Amy J. St. Eve in Chicago. Under the settlement, Interline Brands will pay $40 million to an 80,000-member class of its junk fax recipients. The settlement is believed to be the largest junk fax recovery in history. The settlement also breaks new ground by automatically distributing funds to class members based on the number of faxes received, rather than requiring class members to submit claims. Judge St. Eve also awarded class representative Craftwood Lumber Company a $25,00 incentive award.
A key factor in settlement was an August 2013 ruling by former Judge John F. Grady that barred Interline from asserting either the "prior express permission" or established business relationships defenses as sanctions for failing to comply with his discovery order. The ruling effectively stripped Interline of any defenses to the class' claims.