Recipients of multiple text messages reached a settlement deal with the Buffalo Bills recently, with the professional football team agreeing to pay more than $3 million to end the TCPA suit.
Jerry Wojcik signed up for a text alert service for “up to the minute news and team alerts” about the Bills. The terms and conditions of the service stated that “you will be opted in to receive 3-5 messages per week for a period of 12 months,” with a confirmation message that he would receive “up to 5 msgs/week.”
In his TCPA class action, Wojcik alleged that he was “routinely” sent more than five messages per week and that these excessive texts violated the statute. After more than a year of litigating the case, the parties reached a deal.
The Bills agreed to pay a total of $2,487,745 to the class in the form of debit cards valid at either the Bills’ online retail store or at the official store located at the team’s stadium. Class members will receive an amount based upon the number of overage texts they received: those who received between 1 and 15 extra texts can receive $57.50; debit cards for $65 are available for recipients of 16 to 33 overages; and class members who received more than 33 extra texts can file a claim to get a $75 debit card.
“The class relief is particularly appropriate, as the putative class consists of [Bills] fans,” according to the parties’ joint motion in support of the settlement agreement.
In addition, the team terminated the text service and agreed that if it were recommenced, the Bills would implement safeguards to ensure that it complies with any express limitations placed on the number of text messages transmitted. The Bills also agreed to separately pay for notice and administration fees and $562,500 in counsel fees.
To read the joint settlement motion in Wojcik v. Buffalo Bills, Inc., click here.
To read the order granting preliminary approval to the settlement, click here.
Why it matters: In their quest to obtain express consent from consumers, companies should remember that they can still face a TCPA class action by sending more messages than originally promised. As demonstrated by the Bills’ more than $3 million settlement, a seemingly minor mistake can prove costly.