A court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit known as Wijesinha v. Susan B. Anthony List, Inc., Case No. 1:18-cv-22880-JEM and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give Final Approval to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.
Judge Martinez of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida is overseeing this case. The person who sued, Shehan Wijesinha, is called the “Plaintiff.” Susan B. Anthony List, Inc., is called the “Defendant.”Top
The lawsuit alleges that SBA sent a text message to Plaintiff’s wireless telephone number without prior express written consent, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (“TCPA”), and seeks actual and statutory damages under the TCPA on behalf of the named Plaintiff and a class of all similarly-situated individuals in the United States.
SBA denies each and every allegation of wrongdoing, liability, and damages that were or could have been asserted in the litigation, and that the claims in the litigation would be appropriate for class treatment if the litigation were to proceed through trial.
The Plaintiff’s Complaint, Settlement Agreement, and other case-related documents are posted on this Settlement Website. The Settlement resolves the lawsuit. The Court has not decided who is right.Top
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (commonly referred to as the “TCPA”) is a federal law that restricts telephone solicitations and the use of automated telephone equipment.Top
In a class action, one person called the “Class Representative” (in this case, Plaintiff) sues on behalf of himself and other people with similar claims.
All of the people who have claims similar to the Plaintiff’s are Settlement Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.Top
The Court has not found in favor of either Plaintiff or SBA. Instead, both sides have agreed to a settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and if the Settlement is approved by the Court, Settlement Class Claimants will receive the benefits described in the Notice. SBA denies all legal claims in this case. Plaintiff and his lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.Top
The Settlement includes all persons who received a text message on their cell phone from SBA. Specifically, the Settlement is defined as:
All individuals within the United States (i) who were sent a text message (ii) on his or her cellular telephone (iii) by Mudshare or a similar service on behalf of Susan B. Anthony List, Inc. (iv) between July 9, 2018 and December 7, 2018.
Persons meeting this definition are referred to collectively as the “Settlement Class” and, individually, as “Settlement Class Members.”
Excluded from the Settlement Class are: (i) the district judge and magistrate judge presiding over this case, the judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, their spouses, and persons within the third degree of relationship to either of them; (ii) individuals who are or were during the Class Period agents, directors, employees, officers, or servants of SBA or of any affiliate or parent of Defendant; (iii) Plaintiff’s counsel and their employees, and (iv) all persons who file a timely and proper request to be excluded from the Settlement Class.Top
If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class or have any other questions about the Settlement, call the toll-free number, 1-888-683-1099. You also may send questions to the Settlement Administrator at SBA TCPA Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 404134, Louisville, KY 40233-4134.Top
To fully settle and release claims of the Settlement Class Members, SBA has agreed to make payments to the Settlement Class Members and pay for notice and administration costs of the Settlement, attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred by counsel for the Settlement Class, and a service award for Plaintiff (the “Settlement Fund”). Each Settlement Class Member who timely files with the Settlement Administrator a valid Claim Form will receive a check for $5.00.Top
If you qualify for a payment, you must complete and submit a valid Claim Form. You may download a Claim Form at the Settlement Website or request a Claim Form by calling the Settlement Administrator at the toll-free number below. To be valid, a Claim Form must be completed fully and accurately, signed under penalty of perjury, and submitted timely.
You may submit a Claim Form by U.S. mail or file a Claim Form online. If you send in a Claim Form by U.S. mail, it must be postmarked by Thursday, September 19, 2019. If you file a Claim Form online, then you must so file by Thursday, September 19, 2019.
No matter which method you choose to file your Claim Form, please read the Claim Form carefully and provide all the information required. Only one Claim Form may be submitted per Settlement Class Member.Top
Payments to Settlement Class Members will be made only after the Court grants Final Approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved (see “The Final Approval Hearing” below). If there are appeals, resolving them can take time. Please be patient.
EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT
If you do not want benefits from the Settlement, and you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue SBA on your own about the legal issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called excluding yourself—or it is sometimes referred to as “opting out” of the Settlement Class.Top
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a timely letter by mail to:
SBA TCPA Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 404134
Louisville, KY 40233-4134
Your request to be excluded from the Settlement must be personally signed by you under penalty of perjury and contain a statement that indicates your desire to be “excluded from the Settlement Class” and that, absent of excluding yourself or “opting out,” you are “otherwise a member of the Settlement Class.”
Your exclusion request must be postmarked no later than June 19, 2019. You cannot ask to be excluded on the phone, by email, or at the Settlement Website.
You may opt out of the Settlement Class only for yourself.Top
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue SBA for the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement Class in order to pursue your own lawsuit.Top
Unless you opt out of the Settlement, you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against SBA about the issues in this case, including any existing litigation, arbitration, or proceeding. Unless you exclude yourself, all of the decisions and judgments by the Court will bind you.
The Settlement Agreement is available on this website. The Settlement Agreement provides more detail regarding the Releases and describes the Released Claims with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate legal terminology, so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firms representing the Settlement Class listed in Question 15 for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the Released Claims or what they mean.Top
No. You will not get a payment from the Settlement Fund if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.Top
The Court has appointed the following lawyers as “Class Counsel” to represent all members of the Settlement Class.
Scott Edelsberg, Esq.
Edelsberg Law, PA
19495 Biscayne Blvd #607
Aventura, FL 33180
Andrew J. Shamis
Shamis and Gentile, P.A.
14 NE 1st Avenue, Suite 400
Miami, FL 33132
Manuel S. Hiraldo, Esq.
401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Ste. 1400
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Ignacio J. Hiraldo, Esq.
1200 Brickell Ave, Suite 1950
Miami, FL 33131
You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.Top
Class counsel intend to request up to $225,000 in attorneys’ fees and expenses. The Court will decide the amount of fees and expenses to award. Class Counsel will also request that a Service Award of $2,500.00 be paid from the Settlement Fund to the Class Representative for his service as representative on behalf of the whole Settlement Class.Top
If you are a Settlement Class Member (and do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class), you can object to any part of the Settlement. To object, you must timely submit a letter that includes the following:
1) A heading that includes the case name and case number— Wijesinha v. Susan B. Anthony List, Inc.,
Case No. 1:18-cv-22880-JEM;
2) Your name, address, telephone number, the cell phone number at which you received text messages from SBA and if represented by counsel, the name, bar number, address, and telephone number of your counsel;
3) A signed statement stating, indicating, under penalty of perjury, that you received one or more text messages from SBA and are a member of the Settlement Class;
4) A statement of all your objections to the Settlement, including your legal and factual basis for each objection;
5) A statement of whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either with or without counsel, and if with counsel, the name of your counsel who will attend;
6) The number of times in which your counsel and/or counsel’s law firm have objected to a class action settlement within the five years preceding the date that you file the objection, the caption of each case in which counsel or the firm has made such objection, and a copy of any orders related to or ruling upon counsel’s or the firm’s prior objections that were issued by the trial and appellate courts in each listed case;
7) A list of all persons who will be called to testify at the Final Approval Hearing in support of the objection; and
8) Any and all agreements that relate to the objection or the process of objecting—whether written or verbal—between you or your counsel and any other person or entity.
If you wish to object, you must file your objection with the Court (using the Court’s electronic filing system or in any manner in which the Court accepts filings) and mail your objection to each of the following three (3) addresses, and your objection must be postmarked by June 19, 2019.
Clerk of the Court
United States District Court for
the Southern District of Florida
400 N. Miami Ave
Miami, FL 33128
Scott Edelsberg, Esq.
Edelsberg Law, PA
19495 Biscayne Blvd #607
Aventura, FL 33180
901 Lakeside Avenue
Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.
THE FINAL APPROVAL HEARING
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement and any requests for fees and expenses (“Final Approval Hearing”).Top
The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing on September 4, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Courthouse , 400 North Miami Avenue, Room 10-1, Miami, Florida 33128. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the website for updates. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will also consider the requests by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and for a Service Award to the Class Representative. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at that time. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. It is unknown how long these decisions will take.Top
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you submitted your written objection on time to the proper addresses and it complies with all the other requirements set forth above, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend the hearing, but it is not necessary.Top
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, your timely filed objection must include a statement of whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing (see Question 17 above).
You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.Top
If you are a Settlement Class member and do nothing, meaning you do not file a timely Claim, you will not get benefits from the Settlement. Further, unless you exclude yourself, you will be bound by the judgment entered by the Court.Top
This Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. You are urged to review more details in the Settlement Agreement. For a complete, definitive statement of the Settlement terms, refer to the Settlement Agreement on this website. You also may write with questions to the Settlement Administrator at SBA TCPA Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 404134, Louisville, KY 40233-4134 or call the toll-free number, 1-888-683-1099.Top