After 11 years of litigation—the largest trial judgment in Georgia history, three published decisions from the Court of Appeals, two denied petitions for writs certiorari by the Georgia Supreme Court, one published decision from the Georgia Supreme Court, and insurance-coverage litigation in federal court that resulted in a published decision from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and a denied petition for a writ of certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court—we reached a settlement in a class action that received preliminary approval from the trial court. Notice about the settlement is being sent out this week to class members.
American Home Services, Inc. (AHS), a home-improvement windows-and-siding business, hired a company to fax advertisements on its behalf to more than 300,000 individuals and businesses throughout metro Atlanta over 12 weeks in 2002 and 2003. Faxing unsolicited advertisements is illegal under federal and state law. The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits the sending of unsolicited advertisements, commonly called junk faxes, to fax machines. The TCPA provides for statutory damages for violations of the law.
On behalf of A Fast Sign Company, Inc., a Norcross business that received one of AHS’s faxes, we sued AHS over its fax advertising. The court allowed, or “certified,” the lawsuit to proceed as a class action. After the trial of the case, in which the court entered a judgment in favor of the class, and appeals, we, on behalf of the Class, and AHS and its insurer have agreed to a settlement.
If the settlement receives final approval, each class member who submits a timely and valid claim will receive up to $1,500 per fax number. The amount that each class member will receive will depend on the number of timely and valid claims that class members file. If the number of claims are such that the fund established to pay the claims cannot satisfy all claims in full, the claims will be paid on a prorated basis.