Parker, et al. v. Universal Pictures, et al.
Parker v. Universal Settlement
Case No. 6:16-CV-01193-CEM-DCI

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • A court authorized the Notice because Class Members have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit known as Parker, et al. v. Universal Pictures, et al., M.D. Fla. Case No. 6:16-CV-01193-CEM-DCI and about all of their 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 Carlos Mendoza of the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, is overseeing this case.

  • The lawsuit alleges that Defendants sent text messages to Plaintiffs’ wireless telephone numbers without prior express written consent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 USC § 227 (“TCPA”), and seeks actual and statutory damages under the TCPA on behalf of the named Plaintiff and a class of all individuals in the United States. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Defendants sent text messages to promote the release of the film Warcraft in the summer of 2016.

    Defendants deny 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 Plaintiffs and Defendants (“Parties”) have determined that it is in their best interests to settle this case to avoid the expenses, uncertainties, and inconveniences associated with litigation. In addition, the Court has given preliminary approval of the Settlement and will make a final determination regarding the settlement after Class members are given notice and the opportunity to object.

    The Plaintiffs’ Complaint, Settlement Agreement, and other case-related documents are posted on the Important Documents page. The Settlement resolves the lawsuit. The Court has not decided who is right.

  • 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. The Plaintiffs here alleged that Defendants sent marketing text messages to individuals without the requisite prior written consent in violation of the TCPA.

  • In a class action, individuals called the “Class Representatives” (in this case, Plaintiffs Ophelia Parker and Joseph Naso) sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims. All of the people who have claims similar to the Plaintiffs are members of the Settlement Class, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.

  • The Court has not found in favor of either Plaintiffs or Defendants. 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 on this website. Defendants deny all legal claims in this case. Plaintiffs and their lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

  • The Settlement consists of four different classes (these are called the “Settlement Classes”):

    1. The "ATDS Class" consists of all persons or entities within the United States who received one or more text messages as part of the Warcraft Text Messaging Campaign.
    2. The “Internal-Do-Not-Call Class” consists of all persons within the United States who received more than one text message as part of the Warcraft Text Messaging Campaign, one of which was received after the class member submitted a request to not receive additional texts.
    3. The “National Do-Not-Call Class” class consists of all persons within the United States who received more than one text message as part of the Warcraft Text Messaging Campaign (a) in a 12-month period; and (b) more than 30 days after the placement of their number on the National Do-Not-Call Registry.
    4. The “Out of Time Class” class will consist of all persons within the United States who received more than one text message to a residential line as part of the Warcraft Text Messaging Campaign, at least one of which was before 8 A.M. or after 9 P.M. local time at the texted person's location.

     

    People included in one or more of the Settlement Classes are called “Settlement Class Members.”

    Excluded from the Settlement Classes are (1) the trial judge presiding over this case; (2) Defendants, as well as any parent, subsidiary, affiliate or control person of Defendants, and the officers, directors, agents, servants or employees of Defendants; (3) any of the Released Parties; (4) the immediate family of any such person(s); (5) any Settlement Class Member who has timely opted out of this proceeding; and (6) Plaintiff’s Counsel, their employees, and their immediate family.

  • If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class or have any other questions about the Settlement, you may contact the Settlement Administrator by phone toll-free at 1-833-402-1723. You also may send questions to the Settlement Administrator by email at info@WCTCPASettlement.com.

  • Defendants have agreed to make $19,225,515 available to pay individuals who submit valid claim forms, settlement administration costs, attorneys’ fees, a service award to the Class Representatives, and costs and expenses of the litigation.  Each Settlement Class Member who timely submits a valid Claim Form will be entitled to receive a cash payment of "Settlement Award" for each Settlement Class of which he or she is a member.  The Settlement Award for members of the ATDS Class will be $35.  The Settlement Award for members of the Internal-Do-Not-Call, National Do-Not-Call, and Out of Time classes will be $50.  There is a limit of one claim per Settlement Class.  Depending on how many valid claim forms are submitted, it is possible that each Settlement Class Member’s payment will be reduced on a pro-rata basis to cover settlement administration costs, attorneys’ fees, a service award to the named Plaintiffs, and the costs and expenses of the litigation.

    As part of the Settlement, Legendary, AAS, and Universal have agreed not to send or direct any other person or entity to send any text messages to market, promote, publicize, or advertise the Warcraft film.  Legendary has also agreed not to use the services of Handstack to send text messages to market, promote, publicize, or advertise any of Defendants’ products or services.

    Handstack has agreed that it will not use, either for itself or for any client, the Cell Phone Number List or any part of it to send or direct any text message and will not provide the Cell Phone Number List to any other person or entity. Should Handstack, on behalf of itself or for any client, carry out any telemarketing using its web-based platform for sending and to groups and receiving return text messages (the “Handstack Platform”) as used for the Warcraft Text Message Campaign, to a cellular telephone service, Handstack shall be subject to the following terms: (1) Handstack shall maintain and create a database of individuals who have provided prior consent as required by the TCPA or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, to receive such calls/texts, including the date and manner in which such consent was obtained; (2) Handstack shall implement reasonable procedures to ensure that no phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry is called/texted absent prior express consent from the person assigned the number; and (3) Handstack shall develop and implement a written TCPA compliance policy, which includes maintaining an internal opt-out list for any future telemarketing campaigns. However, these terms do not apply if such call/text is made to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States, made for emergency purposes, made with prior express consent of the called party, or otherwise made in compliance with the TCPA, the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, and/or applicable case law, or made as an individual acting in the course of a business in which Handstack has no control over or authority to determine TCPA compliance or Handstack does not initiate the sending of text messages.

  • The deadline for submitting a Claim Form online was 11:59 p.m. EST on July 10, 2019 or postmarking it by July 10, 2019.

  • Payments to Settlement Class Members will be made only after the Court grants Final Approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved.  If there are appeals, resolving them can take time.  Please be patient.

  • If you do not want benefits from the Settlement, and you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue Defendants 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.

  • The deadline for requesting exclusion was May 16, 2019.

  • No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up the right to sue Defendants for the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must have excluded yourself from this Settlement Class in order to pursue your own lawsuit.

  • Unless you opted out of the Settlement, you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants 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 the Important Documents page. 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.

  • No. You will not get a payment if you excluded yourself from the Settlement.

  • The Court has appointed the following lawyers as “Class Counsel” to represent all members of the Settlement Class.

     

    Edmund A. Normand
    NORMAND PLLC
    3165 McCrory Place, Suite 175
    Orlando, FL 32801
    Tel: 888.274.6434

     

    William C. Gray, Esq.
    GRAY LLC
    17 N. State Street
    Suite 1600
    Chicago, IL 60602
    Tel: 312.967.3653

     

    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.

  • Class Counsel intends to request up to 23.41% of the Total Settlement Value for attorneys’ fees plus reimbursement of reasonable, actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the litigation of up to $200,000. The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be deducted from the Total Settlement Value. The Motion for these fees and expenses will be posted on the Settlement Website when they are filed with the Court. The Court will decide the amount of fees and expenses to award.

    Class Counsel will also request that a Service Award of $5,000 for each of the Plaintiffs to be deducted from the Total Settlement Value for their services as representative on behalf of all Settlement Class Members.

  • The deadline for objecting was May 16, 2019.

  • 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 Court granted final approval of the Settlement on July 11, 2019. The Final Approval Hearing that was scheduled on July 17, 2019 has been cancelled. You may read the Order granting final approval of the Settlement here.

     

  • If you are a Settlement Class member and do nothing, meaning you did not file a timely Claim, you will not get benefits from the Settlement. Further, unless you excluded yourself, you will be bound by the judgment entered by the Court.

  • This website 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 the Important Documents page. You also may write with questions to the Settlement Administrator at Parker v. Universal Settlement, c/o JND Legal Administration, PO Box 91234, Seattle WA 98111, or call the toll-free number, 1-833-402-1723.

    The above description of the case is general and does not cover all of the issues and proceedings that have occurred. In order to see the complete file for the case, you should visit the website of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Pacer Service Center, located at http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/. You may also visit or call the Clerk’s office at 401 West Central Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32801. The Clerk will tell you how to obtain the file for inspection and copying at your own expense. You may also contact Ed Normand of Normand PLLC, Class Counsel, through www.ednormand.com, or calling (888) 274-6434.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Parker v. Universal Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91234
Seattle, WA 98111