Last week, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”) successfully resolved a “junk fax” Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class action with an accepted offer of judgment that satisfied both the named plaintiff and the court. Incredibly, Wells Fargo will only pay a total of $7,500 to resolve the TCPA class action. Courts throughout the country have been reluctant to allow for resolution of class action lawsuits in this manner, but Wells Fargo managed to convince both the named plaintiff and the court to accept the terms of the offer.
How did Wells Fargo Resolve its TCPA Class Action with an Offer of Judgment?
Wells Faro has agreed to pay the named plaintiff the statutory maximum allowed under the TCPA for her receipt of one unsolicited fax advertisement, plus an additional $5,500.00 “for fees and costs, even though the TCPA doesn’t award them.” Additionally, Wells Fargo also agreed to enter into a court-ordered injunction, prohibiting it from, directly or indirectly, “sending unsolicited fax advertisements regarding Capital Bankcard merchant processing goods or services in violation of the [TCPA].” As counsel for Wells Fargo argued during oral argument, “[o]ur agreement to not send voluntary faxes is more than a voluntary cessation of complained-of conduct. It is conduct that will be backed up and embodied in an injunction order. A violation of an injunction order could subject the defendants to contempt proceedings . . . .”
Protect Yourself: Consult with a TCPA Attorney Today
Early last year, we blogged about the United States Supreme Court’s ruling that an unaccepted offer of judgment cannot nullify a purported class action. In this TCPA class action, however, Wells Fargo made the plaintiff and the court an offer that they simply could not refuse.