On July 1, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary approval of a $4.5 million class action settlement in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act case.  

According to the complaint in Sanders v. RBS Citizens, N.A. filed in 2013, the plaintiffs alleged that they received a number of unsolicited phone calls to their cell phones, for which they had not provided consent.  They claimed that the phone calls were made using an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) and/or artificial or prerecorded voice, in violation of the TCPA. 

After two and a half years of litigation, the parties reached a settlement.  The settlement agreement provides relief for the following defined class:  “All persons in the United States who received a call on their cellular telephones from Citizens, or any third parties calling on a Citizens account, made with an alleged [ATDS] and/or an artificial or pre-recorded voice from December 20, 2009 through July 13, 2015.”  The class purportedly consists of over 1 million members.  Defendant agreed to establish a settlement fund of more than $4.5 million to pay for awards to class members and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.   

A final fairness hearing is currently scheduled for January 2017.