Eleventh Circuit Vacates GoDaddy TCPA Settlement

The parties in consolidated class actions against GoDaddy brought under the TCPA negotiated a settlement, under which Go Daddy would provide up
to $35 million to pay both class members’ claims and up to $10.5
million to their lawyers as attorney’s fees. The district court certified a settlement class. The day Rule 23(c)(2) notices were mailed out, though, the Supreme Court granted cert in Facebook v. Duguid, “to resolve a conflict among the Courts of Appeals regarding whether an autodialer
must have the capacity to generate random or sequential phone numbers”–also a dispositive issue in the GoDaddy class.

Before the Supreme Court issued its decision, though, the class moved for final approval of the settlement–before the deadline for objections, which was granted three  months before the Supreme Court decided Facebook–which ruled in favor of Facebook/GoDaddy.

An objector appealed on several grounds, and the Eleventh Circuit reversed and vacated, with stern words for class counsel, finding the settlement should never have been approved, the notice was deficient, and the fee award was improperly calculated because, among other reasons, the settlement should have been viewed as a coupon settlement under CAFA.


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