On Wednesday, January 20, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez that defendants can’t moot the claims of class action plaintiffs merely by offering them complete relief. But the Court declined to rule on what would happen if a defendant goes a step further and a check is actually sent to the plaintiff or tendered into court, which could be an alternative mechanism in defending these claims.
The article notes that the ruling is particularly important in cases asserting claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), where the uncapped aggregate damages have made settling early an appealing proposition for defendants. “The TCPA is really tailor-made for offers of complete relief,” said Mike, senior editor of the firm’s TCPA Blog. He explained that, “because the TCPA provides for statutory damages and does not provide for attorneys’ fees, defendants can confidently calculate ‘complete relief’ so as long as they know the number of calls, texts, or faxes at issue. That’s why the strategy has been used so often in TCPA cases, and why defendants are likely to react to this decision by looking for another way to use it.”