Tcpa Class Action Against Alliance One Settles

A pending California class action suit (Adams, et al. v. Alliance One Receivables Managements, Inc.) against Alliance One may soon settle. In the Alliance One suit, plaintiffs allege that Alliance One violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which was passed by congress in 1991 and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. A class action requires that one or several named plaintiffs file suit on behalf of a proposed class of people sharing a common injury or injuries. Class actions often result from an action or inaction made by a business, such as with the manufacturing or distribution of a defective product. After a class action is filed, the named plaintiffs have the burden of requesting that the class be certified, which may in turn require discovery to determine the estimated size and standards of the class. This procedure ensures that the case is properly identified as a class action and also gives the court an opportunity to determine whether plaintiffs’ counsel has the resources necessary to represent a class.The TCPA restricts telephone solicitations, the use of automated telephone equipment, and regulates the use of automatic dialing systems (robocalls), and prerecorded voice messages, text messages, and faxes, by requiring identification and in some cases, authorization. In this case, plaintiffs specifically allege that Alliance One called consumers’ cell phones, between February 8, 2004 and November 30, 2010, using an automated dialer or left prerecorded voice messages without their prior consent.Fortunately, the Alliance One suit is nearing, or will have reached, its conclusion, as the Court recently gave its preliminary approval of the parties’ proposed settlement. If approved, the settlement will obligate Alliance One to provide a $9 million settlement fund. From this fund, the court will oversee the distribution of damages to plaintiffs, administration fees, and the payment of plaintiffs’ attorneys fees and costs. Aside from a charitable donation, Alliance One is entitled to any amount remaining in the fund once these distributions are made.A fund, as opposed to a certain award, may be necessary when the parties are uncertain of the classes’ exact number. This number is not determined until a notice describing the class is published or broadcast to its potential members. As part of this notice procedure, there may have to be several notices, first a notice giving class members the opportunity to opt out of the class, only to the extent that they give timely notice to the class counsel or the court that they are opting out. Second, if there is a settlement proposal, the court will usually direct the class counsel to send a settlement notice to all the members of the certified class, informing them of the details of the proposed settlement.Today, consumers receive more robocalls than ever. Technology is the reason. Companies use autodialers to send out thousands of phone calls every minute for an incredibly low cost. What is a robocall? If you pick up the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, then you have received a robocall. Similarly, if someone leaves you a prerecorded message, that’s a robocall, too. The TCPA protects consumers from annoying automated or prerecorded calls, unsolicited text messages, among other things. Damages in TCPA cases range from $500.00 – $1,500.00 per call or text. Recently, Jiffy Lube agreed to pay $47 million to settle claims in a text spam class action lawsuit. Sallie Mae also recently settled a class action for $25 million to settle claims it placed automated or prerecorded phone calls to its customers’ cell phones.If you have been the victim of a robocall or a prerecorded message, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC, for a free consultation. We will help you stop the unwanted calls once and for all. Agruss Law Firm, LLC, has helped over 1,500 consumers. We want to help you, too.

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Submitted Comments

I am receiving automated recording calls on my cell phone. I only have one number documented, that called today, but is this something you can assist with? I just received an automated solicitation. I don't have much info other than the number that the call came from!