A Florida federal judge has approved the largest settlement in the history of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), a nearly $31 million settlement between Subway and a class of consumers. It was alleged that the sandwich chain unlawfully printed full credit card expiration dates on receipts. U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga gave preliminary approval to the $30.9 million settlement with Doctor’s Associates Inc., which does business as Subway. It was submitted for approval on March 21 by named Plaintiff Shane Flaum on behalf of about 2.6 million people whose credit and debit card information was potentially compromised by the printed receipts showing the full expiration dates of their cards.
Judge Altonaga also granted Flaum’s request for leave to amend his complaint to include as an additional representative Jason Alan, the Plaintiff in a parallel class action pending in Florida, and approved Scott Owens PA, Bret Lusskin PA and Keogh Law Ltd. as class counsel. The judge also agreed to conditionally certify a class that includes all Subway patrons who received receipts upon purchase that showed their credit and debit cards’ full expiration dates between Jan. 1, 2016, and the date of preliminary approval. Judge Altonaga also approved a class notice proposal that included a settlement website, publication notice and press release. The judge also set out the rules for properly submitting a claim form.
Mr. Flaum filed his complaint in June 2016, alleging that Subway violated FACTA through its practice of printing customers’ cards’ full expiration dates even after it had been sued in the past for similar violations – twice in 2007, and again in 2008 and 2009. FACTA regulations require retailers to omit card expiration dates on receipts, as emphasized in the Credit and Debit Card Clarification Act. Mr. Flaum sought to recover FACTA statutory damages of $100 to $1,000 per receipt for him and the proposed class members. It appears that only about half of U.S. Subway restaurants printed receipts that showed entire expiration dates, and they only did so during a “very limited window of time.”
The $30.9 million settlement appears to have set a new record for FACTA class actions. It is believed to be the “largest FACTA settlement in the history of FACTA.” Plaintiff Flaum is represented by Scott D. Owens of Scott D. Owens PA, Bret Leon Lusskin Jr. of Bret Lusskin PA, and Michael Hilicki of Keogh Law Ltd. The suit is Flaum v. Doctor’s Associates Inc. (case number 0:16-cv-61198) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.