On January 26, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted preliminary approval of a $17.5 million Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action against Navient Solutions Inc. 

According to the original Complaint, plaintiff Randy Johnson received multiple telephone calls on his cell phone from Navient, a student loan servicing and collection company.  The calls were directed to an individual by the name of Marie Bottoms.  Johnson claims that on each occasion he was greeted with an artificial or prerecorded voice, and contends that Navient used an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) to place the calls.  Johnson additionally claims that on each occasion that he spoke with Navient he informed the company that he was not Bottoms, the intended recipient, but that Navient continued to call him. 

After almost two years of litigation and following three mediations, the parties reached a settlement.  The settlement agreement certifies a nationwide class of persons (a) to whom Navient placed one or more telephone calls, (b) directed to a telephone number assigned to a cellular telephone service, (c) by using an ATDS, (d) after Navient designated the telephone number to which it placed the call(s) as a wrong number, (e) between May 4, 2011 and January 26, 2017.  The 350,000-member settlement class will split a $17.5 million cash fund. 

A final approval hearing is scheduled for July 13, 2017.