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In re Collecto, Inc. Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Litigation

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

August 10, 2017

IN RE COLLECTO, INC. TELEPHONE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT TCPA LITIGATION This Document Relates To: 1:13-cv-11944-RGS, 1:14-cv-10478-RGS, 1:14-cv-10532-RGS

          ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

          THE HONORABLE RICHARD G. STEARNS UNITED STATED DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         Plaintiffs have filed a Motion for an Order Preliminarily Approving Class Action Settlement ("Motion"). Having reviewed the Motion and supporting materials, the Court determines and orders as follows:

         A. Counsel have advised the Court that the Parties have agreed, subject to final approval by this Court following notice to the proposed Settlement Class and a hearing, to settle this action on the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims (the "Agreement").

         B. The Court has reviewed the Agreement, as well as the files, records, and proceedings to date in this matter. The terms of the Agreement are hereby incorporated as though fully set forth in this Order. Capitalized terms shall have the meanings attributed to them in the Agreement or as defined herein.

         C. Based upon preliminary examination, it appears to the Court that the Agreement is sufficiently fair, reasonable, and adequate to warrant notice to the proposed Settlement Class; that the Settlement Class should be certified for settlement purposes; and that the Court should hold a hearing after notice to the Settlement Class to determine whether to enter a Settlement Order and Final Judgment in this action, based upon that Agreement.

         Based upon the foregoing, the Court finds and concludes as follows:

         1. Preliminary Approval of Proposed Settlement.

         The Agreement, including all exhibits thereto, is preliminarily approved as fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court finds that (a) the Agreement resulted from extensive arm's-length negotiations, with participation of an experienced mediator, and (b) the Agreement is sufficient to warrant notice thereof to members of the Settlement Class and the Settlement Hearing described below.

         2. Class Certification for Settlement Purposes Only.

         (a) Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(3), the Court, for settlement purposes only, conditionally certifies the following Settlement Class:

(a) all natural persons residing in the United States; (b) who received one or more telephone calls from an automated telephone dialing system operated by Defendant to their cellular telephone number; (c) between July 23, 2009 and June 30, 2014; where (d) person never had an agreement with the creditor for whom Collecto sought to collect.

         (b) In connection with the certification, the Court makes the following preliminary findings:

         (1) The Settlement Class satisfies Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)(1) because the Settlement Class appears to be so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable as there are approximately 206, 000 persons in the Settlement Class based on an analysis of Defendant's business records;

         (2) The Settlement Class satisfies Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)(2) because there appear to be questions of law or fact common to the Settlement Class;

         (3) The Settlement Class satisfies Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)(3) because the claims of the Representative Plaintiffs appear to be typical of the claims being resolved through the proposed settlement;

         (4) The Settlement Class satisfies Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)(4) because the Representative Plaintiffs appear to be capable of fairly and adequately protecting the interests of the above-described Settlement Class in connection with the proposed settlement and because counsel representing the Settlement Class are qualified, competent, and capable of prosecuting this action on behalf of the Settlement Class.

         (5) The Settlement Class satisfies the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(3) because, for purposes of settlement approval and administration, common questions of law and fact appear to predominate over questions affecting only individual Settlement Class Members and because settlement with the above-described Settlement Class appears to be superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient resolution of the claims of the Settlement Class. The Settlement Class appears to be sufficiently cohesive to warrant settlement by representation.

         (c) In making the foregoing findings, the Court has exercised its discretion in conditionally certifying a settlement class.

         (d) Plaintiffs Robert Pegg, John Lofton, Richard Davenport and Ralph Davenport are hereby designated as class representatives.

         3. Class Counsel.

         The Court appoints David C. Parisi and J. Andrew Meyer as counsel for the Settlement Class ("Class Counsel"). For purposes of these settlement approval proceedings, the Court finds that Class Counsel are competent and ...


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