It took more than 30 minutes, but Domino’s Pizza delivered a settlement deal to a class of plaintiffs in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act suit totaling $9.75 million.
Residents of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi who received prerecorded robocalls on their cell phones advertising pizza will receive either $15 or a voucher for a free large, one-topping pizza. In addition, Domino’s agreed to comply with the requirements of the TCPA and Federal Communications Commission regulations implementing the Act as applicable to prerecorded messages.
The $9.75 million fund will pay class claims as well as the costs of notice, administrative expenses, a $5,000 incentive award for named plaintiff Toni Spillman, and attorneys’ fees of up to $3 million. The total class of 1,152,617 is divided into subclasses by the dates they received their robocalls. Those who received calls between May 20, 2009, and May 20, 2010, can recover the monetary benefits of the deal, while recipients of calls between May 20, 2006, and May 19, 2009, the voucher subclass, will receive the free pizza coupon.
The settlement was reached after two full days of mediation sessions and other negotiations in what the parties characterized as a “complex and document-intensive litigation.” The plaintiff’s unopposed motion for settlement noted that “[o]ne of the last pieces to the agreement” was the inclusion of the defendant’s insurer, which agreed to chip in to the deal.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Stephen Riedlinger, sitting in the Middle District of Louisiana, granted preliminary approval in November and final approval of the settlement on May 24.
To read the motion for settlement in Spillman v. Domino’s Pizza, click here.
Why it matters: Although Spillman’s complaint alleged that Domino’s violated the TCPA not just with robocalls, but with unwanted text messages, the settlement omits any reference to text message recipients and does not provide any form of remuneration for such individuals. The case – and sizable settlement deal – documents for businesses the continuing trend of consumer class actions pursuant to the TCPA nationwide. The plaintiff’s motion noted that the Middle District of Louisiana had approved over 30 TCPA-related class action settlements over the last 10 years.