United States District Court for the Central District of California
Case No. 5:20-cv-00851-JGB-SHK
IF YOU RECEIVED A CALL FROM ECA MARKETING, INC. BETWEEN APRIL 21, 2016 AND APRIL 21, 2020, YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO BENEFITS UNDER A CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT.
WHAT IS THE LAWSUIT ABOUT?
A class action is a lawsuit in which the claims and rights of many people are decided in a single court proceeding. Representative plaintiffs, also known as “Class Representatives,” assert claims on behalf of the entire class. The Class Representative here filed and/or pursued this Action alleging that Defendant violated the TCPA by using an automatic telephone dialing system to call cell phones without the prior express consent of the recipients and/or using an artificial or prerecorded voice. Defendant denies that it did anything wrong, and that this case is appropriate for treatment as a class action.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM IN THE SETTLEMENT?
The Court has certified a class action for settlement purposes only. You are in the Settlement Class if you are a person who received one or more Automatic Calls and/or Prerecorded Calls from Defendant between April 21, 2016 and April, 21, 2020. Excluded from the Class are all persons who validly exclude themselves or opt out of the Settlement Class. If you have questions about whether you are a Class Member, or are still not sure whether you are included, you can call 1-888-912-1460 or visit OdomSettlement.com for more information.
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT
SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM
This is the only way to get a payment. You can submit a valid and timely claim form online at OdomSettlement.com or by mail to ECA Marketing, Inc. Settlement, c/o CPT Group, Inc., 50 Corporate Park, Irvine, CA 92606. If you fail to submit a claim, you will not receive a settlement payment.
Get no payment. Give up any rights to sue Defendant or anyone else separately regarding the legal claims in this case.
EXCLUDE YOURSELF OR “OPT OUT” OF THE SETTLEMENT
Get no payment. If you exclude yourself, you will not waive any rights you may have against Defendant or anyone else with respect to the legal claims in this case.
Write to the Court about why you believe the Settlement is unfair. Even if you file a valid and timely objection, you can still submit a claim form to receive a payment.
GO TO A HEARING
Ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the Settlement if you file a valid and timely objection.
+ 1. Why is there a notice?
A court authorized this Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement of this class action lawsuit, and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and after any objections or appeals are resolved, an administrator appointed by the Court will make the payments that the Settlement allows. Because your rights will be affected by this Settlement, it is important that you read this Notice carefully.
If you received a Notice in the mail, or by email, it is likely because Defendant’s records indicate you may have received one or more Automatic Calls and/or Prerecorded Calls from Defendant during the Settlement Class Period.
More specifically, the Settlement Class is comprised of: “All persons within the United States who received any call from Defendant or its agent/s and/or employee/s to said person’s cellular telephone made through the use of any automatic telephone dialing system or prerecorded voice between April 21, 2016, and April, 21, 2020.”
The Court in charge of the case is the United District Court for the Central District of California, and the case is known as Ryan Odom v. ECA Marketing, Inc., Case No. 5:20-cv-00851-JGB-SHK (C.D. Cal.). The proposed Settlement would resolve all claims in this case. The person who sued is called the “Plaintiff” or “Class Representative,” and the company sued, ECA Marketing, Inc., is referred to herein as “Defendant.”
+ 2. What is this class action lawsuit about?
A class action is a lawsuit in which the claims and rights of many people are decided in a single court proceeding. Representative plaintiffs, also known as “Class Representatives,” assert claims on behalf of the entire class.
The Class Representative here filed and/or pursued this Action alleging that Defendant violated the TCPA by using an automatic telephone dialing system to call cell phones without the prior express consent of the recipients and/or using an artificial or prerecorded voice.
Defendant denies that it did anything wrong, and that this case is appropriate for treatment as a class action.
+ 3. Why is there a settlement?
The Court did not decide in favor of the Class Representative or Defendant. Both sides agreed to a settlement instead of going to trial. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the people affected will get compensation. The Class Representative and his attorneys think the Settlement is best for all Class Members.
WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT?
+ 4. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
The Court has certified a class action for settlement purposes only. You are in the Settlement Class if you are a person who received one or more Automatic Calls and/or Prerecorded Calls from Defendant between April 21, 2016, and April, 21, 2020.
Excluded from the Class are all persons who validly exclude themselves or opt out of the Settlement Class.
If you have questions about whether you are a Class Member, or are still not sure whether you are included, you can call 1 (888) 912-1460 or visit OdomSettlement.com for more information.
THE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS - WHAT YOU GET
+ 5. What does the Settlement provide?
Defendant agreed to pay a total settlement amount of $990,000, which will be used to create a Settlement Fund to pay cash awards to Settlement Class Members who submit a valid and timely claim, pay Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees of up to 25% of the settlement amount, pay actual costs, pay a service award to the Class Representative of $2,500, and pay costs and expenses of settlement administration and notice.
Any remaining monies from uncashed Settlement Relief may be redistributed in further distributions to Settlement Class Members who submitted valid and timely claims and cashed settlement checks. However, if a further distribution would be administratively infeasible (e.g., less than $1 per qualifying Claimant), the remaining monies will instead be donated to a cy pres recipient. Plaintiff has proposed that such money be paid to Public Law Center.
HOW YOU GET A PAYMENT
+ 6. How and when can I get a payment?
Each Settlement Class Member who submits a valid and timely Claim Form will receive Settlement Relief. Settlement Relief is a cash payment. The final cash payment amount will depend on the total number of valid and timely claims filed by Settlement Class Members.
Claims may be submitted electronically via the Settlement Website, OdomSettlement.com, or by mail to:
SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR:Odom v. ECA Marketing, Inc.
c/o CPT Group, Inc.
50 Corporate Park
Irvine, CA 92606
The Court will hold a hearing on December 6, 2021, to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Settlement is approved, appeals may still follow. Whether the appeals, if any, can be resolved is uncertain, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Please be patient.
+ 7. What am I giving up to get a payment or stay in the Class?
If you are a Settlement Class Member, unless you exclude yourself, you will be bound by the release of claims in the Settlement. This means that, if the Settlement is approved, you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendant or anyone else having to do with TCPA violations arising out of Automatic Calls or Prerecorded Calls made by Defendant between April 21, 2016 and April 21, 2020, and all of the decisions and judgments by the Court will bind you.
For non-emergency calls to a cell phone number made using an automatic telephone dialing system without the prior express consent of the called party, the TCPA provides for damages of $500 per violation, or up to $1,500 for willful violations, plus an injunction limiting future conduct. However, Defendant has denied that it made any illegal calls to anyone, and in any future lawsuit will have a full range of potential defenses, including that they had prior express consent to make the calls. In addition, the TCPA does not provide for attorneys’ fees to prevailing individual plaintiffs. This Settlement permits class members the opportunity to obtain a smaller amount of money, risk-free.
If you file a Claim Form for benefits or do nothing at all, you will be unable to file your own lawsuit regarding the claims described in this Notice, and you will release Defendant from any liability for the Released Claims defined below and in the Settlement.
Remaining in the Settlement Class means that you, as well as anyone claiming through you such as heirs, administrators, successors, and assigns, relinquish and discharge each and all of the Released Persons from each of the Released Claims (as defined below).
Released Claims: Upon Final Approval, each member of the Settlement Class, including the Plaintiff, and their present, former, or future executors, administrators, successors, predecessors, agents, parent entities, subsidiaries, divisions, related entities, affiliates, partners, limited partners, general partners, members, owners, investors, principals, employees, officers, directors, executive directors, managing directors, advisors of any kind, attorneys, servants, subrogees, indemnitors, insurers, heirs, personal or legal representatives, trusts, family member, and assigns, and any other person or entity who has the right, ability, standing, or capacity to assert, prosecute, or maintain on behalf of or through any member of the Settlement Class in such capacity only, shall be deemed to have, by operation of the Judgment shall have, fully, conclusively, irrevocably, forever and finally resolved, released, relinquished, waived and discharged the Released Persons from any and all claims, causes of action, third-party claims, cross-claims, counterclaims, suits, obligations, debts, demands, agreements, promises, liabilities, damages, charges, losses, controversies, costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees of any nature whatsoever (including expert fees and disbursements of counsel and other professionals), whether based on any federal law, state law, common law, territorial law, foreign law, contract, rule, regulation, any regulatory promulgation (including, but not limited to, any opinion or declaratory ruling), common law or equity, whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, asserted or unasserted, foreseen or unforeseen, actual or contingent, liquidated or unliquidated, punitive or compensatory, whether arising in equity or under the law of contract, tort, malpractice, statutory breach, or any other legal right or duty, whether direct, individual, representative, or in any other capacity, whether class or individual in nature, and to the fullest extent that the law permits their release in the Action, as of the date of Final Approval, that relate to or arise out of Defendant’s use of equipment or methods to contact or attempt to contact Settlement Class Members by telephone during the Settlement Class Period (the “Released Claims”). For the avoidance of doubt, the Released Claims include claims relating to or arising out of the equipment or method used to contact or attempt to contact Settlement Class Members by telephone by Defendant or any person allegedly or purportedly acting through, on behalf of, or for Defendant.
The Settlement Agreement (available at the website) provides more detail regarding the release 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 Class listed in Question 9 for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the Released Parties or the Released Claims or what they mean.
The release does not apply to Settlement Class Members who timely opt-out of the Settlement.
EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT
If you don’t want a payment from this Settlement, and you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue Defendant on your own about the legal issues in this case, then you must take steps to exclude yourself from the Settlement.
+ 8. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter by mail saying that you want to be excluded from Ryan Odom v. ECA Marketing, Inc., Case No. 5:20-cv-00851-JGB-SHK (C.D. Cal.). Be sure to include your full name, address, and the cell phone number(s) at which you were called by Defendant. You must also include a statement that you wish to be excluded from the Settlement and sign the statement. You must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than September 6, 2021, to:
SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR:Odom v. ECA Marketing, Inc.
c/o CPT Group, Inc.
50 Corporate Park
Irvine, CA 92606
If you ask to be excluded, you will not get any Settlement Relief, and you cannot object to the Settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit. You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) Defendant in the future. Although no other person may exclude you from the Settlement Class, nothing prohibits you from obtaining the assistance of another, such as a lawyer or family member, in preparing or submitting any individual exclusion.
THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU
+ 9. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
The Court appointed the following law firm to represent you and other Class Members:
Kazerouni Law Group, APC.
This law firm is called “Class Counsel.” You will not be charged separately for this law firm’s services related to this Settlement. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
Additionally, you may enter an appearance through your own attorney if you so desire, but you do not need to do so.
+ 10. How will the lawyers and Class Representative be paid?
Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of up to 25% of the settlement amount to compensate them for attorneys’ fees for investigaObjecting to the settlementting the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the Settlement, plus actual costs. Class Counsel will also request an award of $2,500 for the Class Representative, as compensation for his time and effort. The Court may award less than these amounts. These payments, along with the costs of administering the Settlement, will be made out of the Settlement Fund.
OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT
You can tell the Court that you do not agree with the Settlement or some part of it.
+ 11. How do I tell the Court that I do not think the Settlement is fair?
If you are a Settlement Class Member and do not exclude yourself, you can object to the Settlement, or any part of the Settlement, for example if you do not think the Settlement is fair. You can state reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must mail a written statement to the Court saying that you object to the proposed Settlement in Ryan Odom v. ECA Marketing, Inc., Case No. 5:20-cv-00851-JGB-SHK (C.D. Cal.). Be sure to include your full name, address, current phone number, cellular telephone number(s) Defendant called you on, the reasons you object to the Settlement, and whether you intend to appear at the fairness hearing on your own behalf or through counsel. All objections shall identify any lawyer that represents you as to your objection and provide that lawyer’s address and telephone number, but you do not have to have a lawyer. Any documents that you wish for the Court to consider must also be attached to the objection. Your objection to the Settlement must be mailed no later than September 6, 2021 to the following address:
Court:Ryan Odom v. ECA Marketing, Inc., Case No. 5:20-cv-00851-JGB-SHK (C.D. Cal.)
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
United States Courthouse
3470 Twelfth Street, Courtroom 1,
Riverside, CA 92501
THE FAIRNESS HEARING
+ 12. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. This Fairness Hearing will be held at 9:00 a.m. on December 6, 2021, at the United States District Court for the Central District of California, United States Courthouse, 3470 Twelfth Street, Courtroom 1, Riverside, CA 92501. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional written notice, so it is a good idea to check the Settlement Website for updates. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and whether to award attorneys’ fees, expenses, and incentive awards to the Class Representative as described above, and in what amounts. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. At or after the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long it will take the Court to issue its decision. You do not have to come to this hearing, but you may attend at your own expense. However, any Settlement Class Member who fails to object to the Settlement in the manner described in section 11 shall be deemed to have waived any such objection, shall not be permitted to object to any terms or approval of the Settlement at the Final Approval Hearing, and shall be foreclosed from seeking any review of the Settlement or the terms of the Agreement by appeal or other means.
+ 13. May I speak at the hearing?
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must file a notice with the Court saying that you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing in Ryan Odom v. ECA Marketing, Inc., Case No. 5:20-cv-00851-JGB-SHK (C.D. Cal.). Be sure to include your full name, address, and telephone number, as well as copies of any papers, exhibits or other evidence that you intend to present to the Court. Your notice of intention to appear must be filed no later than [date]. Copies of your notice of intent to appear must also be sent to the attorneys for the Plaintiff and Settlement Class and to the attorneys for Defendant at the addresses provided above. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement or do not file a timely notice of intent to appear.
IF YOU DO NOTHING
+ 14. What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you do nothing and are a Class Member, you will not receive a payment after the Court approves the Settlement and any appeals are resolved. In order to receive a payment, you must submit a claim form. Unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendant or any other person having to do with the legal issues in this case.
GETTING MORE INFORMATION
+ 15. How do I get more information?
This Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement by calling the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 1 (888) 912-1460, writing to: ECA Marketing, Inc. Settlement, c/o CPT Group, Inc., 50 Corporate Park, Irvine, CA 92606; or visiting the website at OdomSettlement.com, where you will also find answers to common questions about the Settlement, a claim form, plus other information to help you determine whether you are a Class Member and whether you are eligible for a payment.
The files below are PDF downloads that are relevant to this specific case. Please review them and if you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact us Toll Free by calling 1 (888) 912-1460 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Odom v. ECA Marketing, Inc.
c/o CPT Group, Inc
50 Corporate Park
Irvine, CA 92606