Greenwald Davidson Radbil PLLC | Williams v. Bluestem Brands, Inc., 2019 WL 1450090 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 2, 2019)
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Williams v. Bluestem Brands, Inc., 2019 WL 1450090 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 2, 2019)

Mr. Williams filed this lawsuit against Bluestem Brands, Inc., alleging that Bluestem violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227, when calling consumers on their cellular telephones, via an automatic telephone dialing system, at wrong numbers—in that the subscriber to the telephone number called was different from the party that Bluestem was trying to reach. Bluestem denies the allegations, denies that it used an automatic telephone dialing system to place calls to class members, and denies that it violated the TCPA. The parties have agreed to a settlement.

This settlement resolves claims on behalf of the following class:

All persons and entities throughout the United States (1) to whom Bluestem Brands, Inc. placed a call in connection with a Fingerhut, Gettington, or PayCheck Direct account, (2) directed to a number assigned to a cellular telephone service, (3) in connection with its efforts to collect an account balance, (4) via LiveVox, Inc.’s Quick Connect platform, (5) where Bluestem’s records contain a notification of wrong phone, (6) from November 2, 2015 through July 8, 2018.

Bluestem has identified 280,570 unique cellular telephone numbers that fall within the class definition.

Bluestem will establish a settlement fund in the amount of $1 million and will pay separately the costs of class action notice and administration, which will not exceed $269,500. Out of the total settlement fund of up to $1,269,500, Bluestem will pay:

  • Settlement compensation to the class members;
  • Notice and administration costs not to exceed $269,500;
  • An award of attorneys’ fees, subject to the Court’s approval;
  • Costs and expenses incurred litigating this matter, subject to the Court’s approval; and
  • An incentive award to Mr. Williams, subject to the Court’s approval.

Each class member who submits a timely and valid claim form will be entitled, subject to the provisions of the settlement agreement, to his or her equal share of the $1 million settlement fund as it exists after deducting:

  • Attorneys’ fees in an amount not to exceed 30 percent of the total settlement fund, subject to the Court’s approval;
  • Litigation costs and expenses not to exceed $18,500, subject to the Court’s approval; and
  • An incentive award for Mr. Williams, not to exceed $5,000, subject to the Court’s approval.

The Court will hold a final fairness hearing on August 27, 2019, at 1:00 p.m ET. The hearing will take place in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse, 801 North Florida Avenue, Courtroom 13B, Tampa, FL 33602. At the final fairness hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and, if so, whether final approval of the settlement should be granted. The Court will hear objections to the settlement, if any. The Court may make a decision at that time, postpone a decision, or continue the hearing.