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The United States Congress enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to prevent telemarketers from making automated telephone calls or sending rerecorded messages to consumers who have not agreed to receive the calls. Since the inception of the TCPA, Congress has amended the legislation to include other types of unsolicited telephone calls. The TCPA also includes a provision that prohibits telephone calls made to numbers listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. Birch Communications did not get the memo that describes the penalties for violating the TCPA.
Primary plaintiff Fred Heidarpour, who owned California-based Abante Rooter and Plumbing, filed the telemarketing class action lawsuit alleging that Birch Communications placed an automated telemarketing call to Abante’s business cell phone in September of 2015. The Abante employee who received the phone call heard a click and a lengthy pause, before hearing the prerecorded message. Abante claimed he never granted permission to Birch Communications to make unsolicited contact with his business.
The terms of class action settlement require Birch Communications to create a $12 million settlement fund to cover monetary distributions to eligible class members. Abante Rooter and Plumbing will receive a cash settlement as an incentive award for being the lead plaintiff. Settlement money also goes to paying court costs and attorney fees.
What You Need To Know
According to court documents, eligible class members “include persons who, on or after Oct. 27, 2011, were called by Meehan Marketing, Proficient Marketing Group, or Wellfleet Communications in an effort to promote Birch Communications services; and those calls either were placed to a cellular phone using an automatic telephone dialing system or prerecorded voice, or were placed two or more times within a 12-month period to a residential telephone number that was listed on the National Do Not Call Registry.” Class members qualify for a potential award up to $200. The court has declared eligible class members can expect to receive a payment either in December of 2018 or June of 2020.
The class action settlement does not require a proof of purchase or any other document except the submission of the claim form. Class members have until August 22, 2017 to submit a valid claim form. The judge presiding over the case called Abante Rooter and Plumbing Inc. v. Birch Communications, Inc., Case No. 1:15-cv-03562-AT, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has scheduled the final hearing on October 13, 2017. Class members who are unable to attend the final hearing can read the transcript of the hearing by visiting the class action website www.BirchTCPA.com. The class action settlement website also lists the names of the attorneys who represent the class and defense counsels.
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