J. Crew settles ZIP code class action, providing vouchers

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 30, 2014

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - A settlement has been preliminarily approved in a lawsuit against J. Crew for allegedly unlawfully collecting customers' ZIP codes during credit card purchases and using the information to send unsolicited marketing materials.

The settlement was preliminarily approved on June 27 and will provide $20 vouchers to class members who submit a valid and timely claim.

Class representatives Lauren Miller and Leah Crohn will each receive an incentive award of $3,000 in recognition of the amount of time and effort they spent as the class representatives, according to the settlement.

Class counsel will also receive attorneys' fees in the amount of $135,000.

On June 20, 2013, Miller filed the class action complaint against J. Crew alleging the company violated Massachusetts general laws through its collection of ZIP codes from its customers when they made purchases using credit cards at J. Crew's retail stores in Massachusetts.

J. Crew employees did not ask customers for their ZIP codes because credit card companies required them to do so, nor for verification purposes, but to identify that customer's address using commercially available databases, according to the settlement documents.

The plaintiffs claimed J. Crew used their addresses for intrusive marketing purposes.

The plaintiff brought the action for redress of the unlawful practice of J. Crew of collecting ZIP codes at checkout at its Massachusetts stores from customers who make purchases with credit cards, recording that information as part of the credit card transaction and then using that information for its own marketing and promotional purposes, including to send unsolicited marketing and promotional materials, or "junk mail."

The plaintiffs were represented by David Pastor of Pastor Law Office LLP; D. Greg Blankenship of Finelstein, Blankenship, Frei-Pearson & Garber LLP; Preston W. Leonard of Leonard Law Office PC; and Joseph J. Siprut of Siprut PC.

J. Crew was represented by Michelle C. Doolin and Robert B. Lovett of Cooley LLP; and Douglas H. Meal of Ropes & Gray LLP.

The case was assigned to District Judge Richard G. Sterns.

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts case number: 1:13-cv-11487

From Legal Newsline: Kyla Asbury can be reached at classactions@legalnewsline.com.

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