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No Get Out of Jail Free Card: Court Grants Final Approval to $8.8MM TCPA Class of Failed Inmate Notification Calls

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When you’re arrested you may be entitled to one phone call but who has to pay for it? Maybe the company connecting the call by way of a TCPA suit.

We’ve seen a lot of TCPA class action settlements over the years, but the approval just granted in Lee v. Global Tel*link Corporation, Case No. 2:15-cv-02495. 2018 WL 4625677 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 24, 2018) is a bit of an oddball.

The case involved alleged pre-recorded calls sent to 1.8MM class members without consent. The case settled for $8.8MM or about $4.90 a class member. That’s pretty middle of the road these days.

But what’s interesting about the case is that the notifications were sent to cell phones by virtue of phone calls initiated by inmates. The Defendant apparently offers a service used by jails and prisons to facilitate calls from inmates. Through the service, calls are paid for by the person receiving the call–but only after they set up an account to receive the message. So although the inmate initiates the contact, the Defendant–sitting between the inmate and the call recipient– sends an automatically generated notification. And that is what got Global T Link into so much trouble.

In any event, the case is resolved now. Folks that made a claim against the settlement will recover about $175.00 each. The lawyers will receive $2,127,085.00.

So it goes.

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