January 22, 2019

$5.875MM: Another Million-Member TCPA Class Settlement Meets with Approval

Another day, another 7 figure TCPA settlement.

Today’s settlement approval comes to us from the Eastern District of Michican where a local furniture store saw its 2016 telemarketing effort turn into a multi-million dollar windfall for call recipients. See Bowman v. Art Van Furniture, Case No. 17-11630, 2018 WL 6445389 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 10, 2018).

In Bowman the defendant had allegedly left a bunch of voicemails regarding a VIP party at their stores with prizes. Fun. But the messages were (allegedly) left using a pre-recorded voice and without consent. Not fun. Because the messages were promotional in nature, this was (allegedly) a pretty straightforward violation of the TCPA.

Art Van Furniture allegedly sent similar messages to about 1,150,000 folks who made up the settlement class. The settlement figure was $5,875,000.00–or about $5.10 a class member.

As one objector pointed out, the potential liability in this case–if the claims were proven–might exceed $575,000,000.00 so the recovery for the class was about 1% of the potential recovery. The Court was not bothered by this argument and whisked it away with a single line: “The Court agrees with Plaintiff that the recovery in this settlement is consistent with other TCPA class action settlements.” Bowman at *7. So there.

Notably the Bowman settlement is in line with similar settlements. But then again, so was the Snyder settlement that was unceremoniously rejected by the Court a few months back.  

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About this Author

Eric Troutman, Womble Dickinson, TCPA Litigation Attorney

Eric is one of the country’s prominent class action defense attorneys and is nationally-recognized in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation and compliance.  He has served as lead defense counsel in more than 50 national TCPA class actions and has litigated nearly a thousand individual TCPA cases in his role as national strategic litigation counsel for major banks and finance companies. He also helps industry participants build TCPA-compliant processes, policies, and systems.

Eric has built a national litigation practice based upon...

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