Last week, Georgia federal judge, U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land, approved the final order and judgment to settle class action claims that Central Payment Co. LLC (Central Payment) violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for $6.5 million. Lead plaintiff, Fred Heidarpour, claimed that Central Payment violated the TCPA by hiring third parties to ‘cold call’ prospective clients using prerecorded telemarketing calls without the required prior consent. This class action was filed back in August 2015. Discovery in this case revealed that more than 27 million attempted prerecorded calls had been made on behalf of Central Payment during the proposed class period.
Judge Land approved the settlement, and dismissed the case with prejudice, after no objections were received from over 310,000 proposed settlement class members. He found that the settlement was fair, adequate, reasonable and in the best interests of the settlement class. Members of the settlement class have been defined as any individual or entity who, at any time between August 18, 2011, to the date of the settlement agreement, received one or more telemarketing calls from Korthals LLC on behalf of Central Payment. It also includes individuals who received these calls, but were on the national do-not-call registry. All settlement class members will receive equal shares after payments for notice, administration, attorneys’ fees and costs, and plaintiff’s service payments are distributed.
Counsel for plaintiff is permitted to collect a maximum of $2,166,666 in attorneys’ fees along with out-of-pocket expenses of up to $44,000. Heidarpour will be awarded an incentive of $25,000 “in light of the service performed by plaintiff for the class.”