Another day, another 7 figure TCPA settlement.
Today’s settlement approval comes to us from the Eastern District of Michican where a local furniture store saw its 2016 telemarketing effort turn into a multi-million dollar windfall for call recipients. See Bowman v. Art Van Furniture, Case No. 17-11630, 2018 WL 6445389 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 10, 2018).
In Bowman the defendant had allegedly left a bunch of voicemails regarding a VIP party at their stores with prizes. Fun. But the messages were (allegedly) left using a pre-recorded voice and without consent. Not fun. Because the messages were promotional in nature, this was (allegedly) a pretty straightforward violation of the TCPA.
Art Van Furniture allegedly sent similar messages to about 1,150,000 folks who made up the settlement class. The settlement figure was $5,875,000.00–or about $5.10 a class member.
As one objector pointed out, the potential liability in this case–if the claims were proven–might exceed $575,000,000.00 so the recovery for the class was about 1% of the potential recovery. The Court was not bothered by this argument and whisked it away with a single line: “The Court agrees with Plaintiff that the recovery in this settlement is consistent with other TCPA class action settlements.” Bowman at *7. So there.
Notably the Bowman settlement is in line with similar settlements. But then again, so was the Snyder settlement that was unceremoniously rejected by the Court a few months back.