In Leyse v. LifeTime Entertainment Services LLC, the district court for the Southern District of New York recently granted a defendant’s motion to enter judgment on behalf of the plaintiff upon tender to the Clerk of Court of all offered monetary damages and costs.
Plaintiff Mark Leyse brought a putative class action suit against LifeTime Entertainment Services for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). Leyse moved for class certification, but the Court denied that motion as well as his subsequent motion for reconsideration. Only Leyse’s individual claim remained, for which he could potentially recover $500 in statutory damages, or a maximum award of $1,500 if the violation was willful or knowing. LifeTime Entertainment Services offered to pay Leyse $1,503.00 plus costs, and moved for entry of judgment in favor of Plaintiff and to dismiss the complaint. Leyse did not accept the offer and objected to dismissal under the Supreme Court’s ruling in Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez.
In Gomez, the Supreme Court held that an unaccepted offer of judgment does not moot an individual claim, but left open the possibility that “the result would be different if a defendant deposits the full amount of the plaintiff’s individual claim in an account payable to the plaintiff, and the court then enters judgment for the plaintiff in that amount.”
The Leyse Court held that “once the defendant has furnished full relief, there is no basis for the plaintiff to object to the entry of judgment in its favor.” The Court concluded: “[I]f the defendant has thrown in the towel there is nothing left for the district court to do except enter judgment.”