ZIP Code Collection Class Action Settlement Approved By Court

Zip Code Collection

ZIP Code Collection

On Wednesday, March 12, 2014, a Massachusetts federal judge gave final approval to a class-action settlement between Kohl’s Corp. and a group of consumers who claim the retailer violated their privacy by asking for their ZIP codes for marketing purchases during credit and debit card transactions, in violation of Massachusetts law.

The Kohl’s ZIP code class action lawsuit was initially filed n April 2013 after a store clerk asked for her ZIP code during a credit card transaction. Under the impression that the ZIP code was necessary to complete the transaction, the named plaintiff complied. However, the plaintiff claims Kohl’s used the personal information to dig up other personal information about consumers for marketing purposes.

The plaintiff filed her class action lawsuit shortly after the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that ZIP codes should be considered personal identification information because they can be used to track down other consumer information such as phone numbers and addresses, which can be used to send consumers unwanted marketing materials. Therefore, the court concluded that Massachusetts law prohibits retailers from collecting ZIP codes during debit and credit card transactions.

In October,

Kohl’s announced that it had reached a class action settlement that will provide $425,000 in gift cards, which will be divided among Class Members who submit timely and valid claims. The Kohl’s ZIP code collection settlement was preliminarily approved on Dec. 5, 2013.

U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns granted final approval to the Kohl’s ZIP code settlement on Wednesday, finding that the class action settlement “was negotiated at arm’s length, in good faith, by capable and experienced counsel, with full knowledge of the facts, the law, and the risks inherent in litigating the Action, and with the involvement of the Parties.”

Judge Sterns noted that there was only one objection to the class action settlement, but it was directed at the “perceived excess of legalese” in the notice, rather than the terms of the settlement itself.

The Kohl’s ZIP Code Collection Class Action Lawsuit is Brenner, et al. v. Kohl’s Corp., Case No. 1:13-cv-10935 in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.