The attorneys representing a class of consumers earlier this week announced a significant settlement with a debt collection agency in a long running case involving automated dialers and messages used to contact consumers at cell phone numbers.
The case, Adams, et al., v. AllianceOne Receivables Management, Inc., was filed in February 2008 as a class action. The lawsuit alleges that AllianceOne violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by calling cell phones using an automated dialer or with a prerecorded voice message without the recipients’ prior express consent.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, AllianceOne is to contribute a minimum of $1 million and a maximum of $9 million to a settlement fund that will be dispersed to the class attorneys, the class representatives, and the individual members of the class. The total size of the final settlement will be determined by how many eligible claims are made by class members. Each member of the class will be entitled to a maximum of $40.
AllianceOne denies liability in the suit and noted that it is in the best interest of the company to settle the matter.
“AllianceOne continues to believe firmly that the lawsuit is without merit,” said Tim Casey, AllianceOne President and CEO, in the announcement. “AllianceOne is committed to providing high-quality service to its clients in compliance with applicable laws. Given the expense and disruption associated with prolonged litigation, however, we believe this settlement is in the best interest of AllianceOne and its shareholders.”
The settlement agreement seeks $10,000 for the class representatives (three consumers that initially brought the suit) and one-third of the total settlement fund for attorneys fees.
The agreement is still pending final approval. A fairness hearing for the agreement is scheduled for August 27.
AllianceOne is a subsidiary of call center, BPO, and CRM giant Teleperformance.