A District Court judge in California has granted final approval of a $6 million settlement in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act case that alleged a debt collector placed calls to individuals’ cell phones using an automated telephone dialing system without first obtaining their consent. The defendant has also agreed to create an $18 million debt relief fund that will waive up to $599 in debt owed to the defendant for each member of the class with an open account.
A copy of the final approval in the case of Horton v. Cavalry Portfolio Services and Krejci v. Cavalry Portfolio Services can be accessed by clicking here. The two cases were combined because they essentially made the same allegations. Horton’s class action complaint was filed in 2013; Krejci’s was filed in 2016.
Lawyers representing the plaintiffs will receive $2 million, according to the settlement approval. Each of the named plaintiffs will receive $10,000 each. The $6 million will be divided up by about 1 million potential class members.
The members of the class are those who received calls on their cell phones from the defendant between 2009 and 2016.
Under the terms of the settlement, the defendant made no admission or concession of the validity of any claims and denied and liability or wrongdoing.
It should be noted that both of these cases were filed well before the ruling out of the Ninth Circuit in Marks v. Crunch San Diego and both were filed in the same jurisdiction, which, unfortunately, means that the definition of an ATDS for this case was significantly wider than had the cases been filed in the boundaries of the Seventh or the Eleventh Circuits.