AT&T Mobility has agreed to a $45 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit that alleged the company violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
The proposed settlement covers 16,000 phone numbers and provides for a payment to class members of up to $500 per call. Up to one-third of the settlement amount, or $15 million, can be requested for attorney’s fees and costs, while the sole-named class member (Joel Hageman) may request an incentive award of $20,000.
An amended complaint, filed on June 5, 2013, in a federal court in Montana, claimed the mobile-phone giant placed calls using an automated phone dialing system or pre-recorded voice message without the express consent of the owners of the telephone numbers.
Hageman alleged he received more than 53 calls on his cellular phone in less than two years even though he didn’t consent to receiving such calls and wasn’t an AT&T Mobility customer, according to attorney David Klein of the law firm Klein Moynihan Turco LLP, in an article submitted to Lexology.
In the proposed settlement, AT&T Mobility has denied any wrongdoing or liability. Many members of the alleged class consented to receiving the calls, and the dialing systems at issue did not meet the definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, according to AT&T. Finally, the carrier argued the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, as applied to the company in the case, infringed on its rights under the U.S. Constitution.
The settlement agreement is subject to preliminary and final court approvals.