Lawyers Weigh in on High Court's Class Action Ruling

Pensions & Investments and Law360
January 20, 2016

Ira A. Schochet provides insight on SCOTUS ruling disallowing defendants to make individual settlement offers to plaintiffs

In Campbell-Ewald Co. vs. Gomez , the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that defendants facing a Telephone Consumer Protection Act suit couldn't escape a class action by making a settlement offer to individual plaintiffs.

According to Labaton Sucharow partner Ira A. Schochet, "A contrary finding by the court would have allowed corporations that violate consumer protection statutes such as the one at issue in the case, often resulting in damages that are too small to litigate on an individual basis, an opportunity to escape accountability for virtually all of its wrongdoing, and more, to continue to violate the statute. They would do so by picking off at a nominal cost consumers who seek classwide relief, by offering to pay their statutory damages, and not their legal fees. In this way, they would end the lawsuit without ever having to address the damages caused to the class of consumers, and the statute protecting those consumers would become a nullity."