January 30, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 30

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January 30, 2023

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A Settlement From a Different Era?: Huge New TCPA Settlement Calls to Mind the Glory Days of TCPA Risk

As I’ve reminded folks a few times recently, the TCPA is the single largest cash cow in American history for the Plaintiff’s bar. More multi-million dollar settlements have been reached under the TCPA than any other federal statute–and it's not even close.

Mercifully, however, the settlement dollars have been slowing down some in recent years and the overall “market” for TCPA settlements has been trending steadily down as risk around ATDS issues, standing issues and constitutional issues weigh in favor of the Defense.

In Iverson v. Advanced Disposal Servs., CASE NO. 3:18-cv-867-BJD-JBT, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149339  (M.D. Fl.  August 6, 2021), however, the Plaintiff broke the trend and managed to score a massive–and seemingly illegal- settlement haul of the sort I haven’t seen in five years or so.

In Iverson, the Defendant agreed to settle a TCPA suit for $3.5MM in favor of 27,364 class members, which is likely to yield a recovery to class members in the range of $795.00 to $1,590.00 per class member.

Holy smokes.

While these numbers aren’t unprecedented, they are really on the high end of the spectrum. Indeed, at nearly $128.00 a class member this settlement is roughly 20-40x the size of a reasonable settlement (in my view at least.)

Still, I can’t say this was a bad deal for the Defense–I just don’t know enough about the facts to know what drove the result. TCPA cases can obviously be extremely dangerous and I’ll never fault a Defendant for wiping away liability where the deck is stacked against it–your first loss is your best loss, and all that. And Keogh is always a dangerous foe.

One item that is remarkable, however, is that the settlement includes an incentive award to the Plaintiff. Yet the Eleventh Circuit has recently held that such awards are flat illegal. So unless I’m missing something–am I?–this settlement seems to have a poison pill locked in.

© 2023 Troutman FirmNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 235
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About this Author

Eric Troutman TCPA Lawyer Troutman Law Firm Orange County, CA
Founder

Eric J Troutman is known as one of the country’s prominent class action defense lawyers and is nationally recognized in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation and compliance. He has served as lead defense counsel in more than 70 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. Eric also helps industry participants build TCPA-compliant processes, policies, and systems.

Eric's perspective allows him to...

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