Capital One Financial Corp., and three collections agencies, have agreed to pay almost $75.5 million to settle a consolidated class action lawsuit. It was alleged the defendants used an automated dialer to call customers’ cellphones without consent. This is said to be the largest settlement ever under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). U.S. District Judge James F. Holderman has given preliminary approval to the settlement. The bank and Leading Edge Recovery Solutions LLC, Capital Management Services LP and AllianceOne Receivables Management Inc., under the settlement, will collectively pay $75,455,098.74 into a settlement fund and change their practice of cold-calling customers’ cellphones. The court’s order said:
The court has conducted a preliminary evaluation of the class settlement agreement for fairness, adequacy, and reasonableness. Based on this preliminary evaluation, the court finds that the class settlement agreement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and within the range necessary for preliminary approval.
Capital One will pay $73 million into the fund, Leading Edge will pay almost $1 million, AllianceOne will pay $1.4 million, and CMS will pay more than $24,000. The settlement also requires Capital One to undertake practice changes with respect to how it contacts customers on their cellphones to ensure compliance with the TCPA.
The settlement class consists of all people in the U.S. who received a call from Capital One’s dialers to a cellphone from an automatic telephone dialing system with an attempt to collect on a credit card debt from January 2008 to June 2014 and those who received calls from participating vendors from February 2009 to June 2014. The court has scheduled a hearing for final approval in December. Plaintiffs are represented in this case by Jonathan D. Selbin, Daniel M. Hutchinson and Douglas Ian Cuthbertson of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP and Matthew R. Wilson of Meyer Wilson Co. LPA. They did a very good job.
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