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‘Junk fax’ settlement takes a bite out of Burger King

In a case spurred by a complaint from a Rockville realty group, Burger King will pay $8.5 million settle a federal class-action lawsuit over “junk fax” ads sent by the fast-food chain, according to court records.

Potential plaintiffs have until Monday to file a claim for or objection to the settlement, according to those records. Class members can receive up to $500 per fax received for a maximum of eight faxes and a maximum award of $4,000, according to terms of the settlement.

The plaintiffs’ class includes approximately 97,000 unique fax numbers that received the ads between March 2009 and November 2014, according to terms of the settlement in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

A final approval hearing is scheduled for April 15, according to court records.

The lawsuit was brought in March 2013 by Rockville-based Jay Clogg Realty Group Inc., which alleged it received at least three faxes between December 2012 and January 2013 promoting Burger King’s delivery services. Most of the faxes did not include the caller’s name, telephone number and date and time of transmission as required by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, according to the lawsuit.

Lawyers for Burger King argued that class-action lawsuits were not allowed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. But U.S. District Court Court Judge Paul W. Grimm, in the first ruling of its kind in the federal circuit that includes Maryland, allowed the lawsuit to move forward as class action last April.

Edward A. Broderick, a Boston lawyer representing Jay Clogg Realty, declined to comment because the settlement is still pending. Broderick has brought similar TCPA lawsuits in other jurisdictions. He was joined locally by Stephen H. Ring, a Gaithersburg solo practitioner.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers can file for attorneys’ fees up to one-third of the total settlement amount, according to the agreement. Jay Clogg Realty can receive up to $15,000 for being the class representative, according to the agreement.

The media relations office at Miami-based Burger King said it does not comment on pending litigation. The company denies the allegations made in the lawsuit, and the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing, according to terms of the agreement.

The case is Jay Clogg Realty Group, Inc. v. Burger King Corporation, 8:13-cv-00662-GJH.