Second Circuit: Class Action Notice Must Be Published More Widely Than Just in USA Today

20 August 2012
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Key takeaways 

  • Class action settlement notices cannot be a "mere gesture"; a settlement notice program must be "reasonably calculated to apprise interested parties" of the settlement.
  • Where class members are "notified" only through a single printing of the notice in the USA Today newspaper, they will not be bound by the settlement and can bring separate lawsuits even where a settlement has been approved and funded.
  • The Second Circuit held that "reasonableness is a flexible standard," so notice costs can be proportionate to the value of a settlement, but suggested that no one-time publication in any single periodical may suffice.