August 3, 2020

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Settlement Reveals How Expensive the TCPA is Compared to Other Consumer Statutes

If you’re reading TCPAWorld.com you know the TCPA is no ordinary statute. And rather obviously TCPA class litigation matters are among the biggest and most complex cases out there. 

While you can take a survey of TCPA class settlements and compare them to other sorts of cases and see for yourself the vast disparity in value, the recent settlement in Sheean v. Convergent Outsourcing, Inc., Case No: 2:18-cv-11532-GCS-RSW, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197446 provides a quick primer.

In Sheehan the named Plaintiff claimed that he received debt collection calls Defendant via an ATDS or prerecorded voice, that were intended for other people. He alleged that he instructed Convergent to stop calling him, however, Convergent allegedly continued to place calls to his number.

While revocation cases of these sort are rarely (if ever certifiable) the Defendant elected to resolve the case on a classwide basis. 

The judge gave final approval to two proposed classes:

  • TCPA Class: All persons (1) to whom Convergent placed, or caused to be placed, a call, (2) by using an ATDS or an artificial or prerecorded voice, (3) from November 2016 through February 2019, and (4) either (i) directed to a cellphone number that was not assigned to the intended call recipient, or (ii) directed to a cellphone number that Convergent was instructed to stop calling, or was informed it was a wrong number.

  • FDCPA Class: All persons (1) to whom Convergent placed, or caused to be placed, a call, (2) from May 2017 through February 2019, (3) in connection with consumer debt collection, (4) after Convergent was instructed to stop placing calls to his or her number or informed that the number was a wrong number.

But now for the real story–the vast difference in the value of the TCPA and the FDCPA components of the case.

$40,000 settlement fund was approved for the FDCPA portion vs $3,710,000 fund for the TCPA portion. 

Essentially, for relatively the same allegations and time period, the TCPA settlement was nearly 100 times more than the FDCPA settlement.  Highlighting this pattern, the named Plaintiff Sheehan, was awarded a mere $50 from the FDCPA fund, and $4,450 from the TCPA settlement fund.  Plaintiffs’ counsel, Greenwald Davidson Radbil PLLC, and Andrew Campbell were approved to recover $1,250,000 in attorney’s fees.  

So it goes.

© Copyright 2020 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 338

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About this Author

Eric Troutman Class Action Attorney
Of Counsel

Eric Troutman is 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. He also helps industry participants build TCPA-compliant processes, policies, and systems.

Eric has built a national litigation practice based upon deep experience, rigorous...

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