Recently, a Class Action Settlement Agreement (“Settlement Agreement”) was reached by and among Philip Charvat and various other Class Members (collectively referred to as “Plaintiff”) against Defendants Resort Marketing Group, Inc., Carnival Corporation and PLC, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., and NCL (Bahamas), Ltd. (collectively referred to as “Defendant”) The Settlement Agreement was reached as a result of a complaint being filed by Mr. Charvat on July 23, 2012, against the above Defendants in Federal District Court in Illinois. The Complaint alleges that Resort Marketing Group made automated telephone calls on behalf of the other Defendants, which violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Charvat alleges that since Resort Marketing Group never received prior express written consent from the recipients of the phone calls, they were in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protect Act. (“Act”) This is the Act that also manages the “Do Not Call List” as well.
This Act imposes significant penalties on companies that knowingly violate telemarketing restrictions. Generally, it disallows marketers from making calls using automated dialing equipment and pre-recorded messages unless the recipient has given prior written consent to be contacted. Penalties against these callers can be $500 to $1,500 per call.
On May 16, 2016, Plaintiff asked that this lawsuit be a Class Action. Plaintiff believes that his claims have merit however, he also acknowledges the expense, time, and risk associated with continuing this action. Therefore, the parties have entered into a Settlement Agreement. Some of the terms of the Settlement Agreement are as follows:
- The Settlement Agreement requires Defendant to create a Settlement Fund worth between $7,000, 000 and $12,500,000, depending on the number of claims filed;
- The Fund will cover payments to Class Members, an award to Charvat, court costs, and attorney’s fees;
- Individuals who received pre-recorded telemarketing calls from Resort Marketing Group, mentioning the other Defendants, between July 23, 2009, and March 8, 2014, are permissible Class Members;
- The Settlement Agreement limits the Class Members to those phone numbers listed in Resort Marketing Group’s database; and
- Class Members, who submit timely claims, may receive payment for up to three calls per telephone number for $300 per call or a maximum of $900 per telephone number. These are the maximums and please note that depending on the number of claims submitted though, these payment amounts may be significantly less.
NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.