7th Circuit rejects request to void $17.5 million TCPA settlement
On February 25, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit denied a request to overturn a $17.5 million settlement agreement arising out of a national bank’s alleged violations of the TCPA. Six different class actions had been filed against the bank in different federal courts, all alleging that the bank had violated the TCPA by making robocalls and autodialed calls and sending text messages to the class members even though they were not customers of the bank. The settlement resolved all six cases, involving roughly 440,000 total class members. An individual claiming to be a class member sought to object to the settlement, but the district court found that he lacked standing to object because he could not show that he had received a call or text, and the bank’s records indicated that he had not, and therefore he was not a member of the class.
Upon appeal, the 7th Circuit affirmed the lower court’s determination that the objector was not a class member in a brief, unsigned order. The panel corrected the objector’s misrepresentation of the lower court’s ruling that the objector’s own testimony could not prove that he was a class member, stating that “[t]he problem here is that [the objector’s] account was so vague—no dates, no subject matter, and not even whether the calls were ‘artificial or pre-recorded’”—that the court reasonably discounted it in comparison to the evidence from [the bank] that [the objector] never received one of the disputed types of calls.”