Plaintiffs allege that Defendants made robocalls to cellular and landline telephones, purporting to be a political polling firm. However, the survey offered on behalf of a non-existent polling organization was merely a pretext for a marketing call on behalf of Caribbean Cruise Lines and a time share company. These calls were made in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
- The District Court expressed skepticism of the intentions of Objector Freedom Home Care, noting that they had filed objections to the fee petition before the Defendants and had seemingly made obvious arguments, with the likely goal of then requesting fees should the fee award be reduced.
- It was pretty predictable -- in fact, not pretty predictable. It was 100 percent predictable that the defendants were going to object to the fee amount...and the fairly obvious objection that anybody in this situation would make is the one that you made and that they ended up making...and that you filed yours first because that would give you a better argument later on that, oh, well, I'm entitled to some money if you end up cutting fees. (Transcript of Fairness Hearing (Part 1) at 34:11-21)
- When Attorney Robert W. Clore, for Freedom Home Care, could not answer whether they would request fees, the Court insisted Christopher Bandas appear in person to answer. (See Transcript of Fairness Hearing (Part 1) at 35:21-39:21)
- Upon appearing, Christopher Bandas confirmed that he was intending on requesting a fee award if the Plaintiffs' fee award was reduced. (See Transcript of Fairness Hearing (Part 2), 4:21-5:8)
- Final Approval granted. The District Court did reduce the Plaintiff's fee request, in response to the objections of Defendants and Freedom Home Care.
- Freedom Home Care motioned for $59,410 in fees and an incentive award of $1,000.
- Despite arguing that their objection improved the settlement enough to warrant a fee award, Objector Freedom Home Care still appealed the Final Approval.
- Plaintiffs motioned for, and were granted, an appeal bond of $5,000.
- The Court denied Objector Freedom Home Care's motion for fees, arguing that they had not materially improved the settlement.
- Objector Freedom Home Care then appealed the decision to deny fees.
- The Appellate Court affirmed the lower court's decision, finding that the Plaintiff's fees were properly awarded and that Objector Freedom Home Care's arguments "did not add marginal value to the litigation" (Appellate Decision, pg 8).