For decades, calling customers, or potential customers, about a promotion was standard practice for most companies. Of course, many consumers found this to be annoying, but it was never overtly harmful. That changed with the advent of cell phones and prepaid plans. When landlines were the norm, the caller paid for the call. Now, cell phone users pay for the calls and text messages that they receive. As a result, legislators came up with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to prevent companies from taking advantage of consumers by making them pay for promotional calls and texts. Under the act, companies are forbidden from making calls or texts to consumer phone numbers without the consumers’ express consent, except in the case of an emergency.
The Los Angeles basketball team, the Clippers, have recently settled a class action lawsuit for allegedly violating the TCPA. According to the lawsuit, fans of the California-based basketball team allegedly received promotional texts via autodialers from the Clippers without the required authorization. Rather than facing a long, drawn-out battle in court, which could be very costly and time-consuming, the Clippers and the class of plaintiffs have agreed to settle the case.
Settlement is often a popular option for cases in which the outcome is uncertain. Rather than risk spending tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) to pursue the case in court with the possibility of losing, it is in the best interests of the plaintiffs to accept the settlement. Likewise, if the Clippers chose to continue to defend their case, they could end up facing a much larger fine or court award, in addition to legal expenses that have piled up over months, or even years, of litigation.
As of June 2, settlement documents have been filed in a district court in Los Angeles. The judge still needs to approve the settlement, which will only happen if the judge is convinced that neither side has a clear advantage over the other. Assuming the settlement is approved, the Clippers will pay $5.3 million to settle the claims of 37,809 potential class members, all of whom received at least one text message from the Clippers some time after February 6, 2009. Each class member has two options for redeeming their share of the settlement: two free tickets to a home game on October 8, 17, 22, or 24, which normally cost between $15 and $25 each; or one free ticket to one of those games, plus a $20 voucher to be used either at the stadium’s store or online.
Those four home games only provide 8,000 tickets, so, depending on how many of the potential class members file a claim, the Clippers could easily run out of tickets before all of the claims are filed. If that happens, the Clippers will free up another block of 6,000 tickets for October 2015. If, at that point, there are still claims which have not been filled, the rest of the class members will receive a voucher for the stadium store worth $40.Our Chicago class action lawyers near Des Plaines and Rosemont bring class action, privacy law and individual consumer rights lawsuits. We bring suit for many types of class action lawsuits for consumer fraud issues and for unpaid overtime, junk fax, junk text messages, privacy rights violations, property damages due to pollution, false advertising and other claims. Super Lawyers has selected our Kane, DuPage and Cook County class action lawyers as among the top 5% in Illinois. Our Chicago class action attorneys only collect our fees if we win or settle your case. For a free consultation call us at our toll free number 630-333-0333 or contact us on the web by clicking here.