UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
If you received pre-recorded telephone messages from Appstack, Inc. on your cellular telephone or on a landline in Washington State a class action lawsuit may affect your rights.
A court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
- Monty J. Booth, Ricardo T. Mascarenas, and Christopher Gregory have sued Appstack, Inc., Steve Espinosa, and John Zdanowski (collectively “Appstack” or “Defendants”), alleging they placed pre-recorded telephone calls to cellular telephones that violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and that they placed pre-recorded telephone calls to landlines in Washington State that violated the Washington Dialing and Announcing Device Act (“WADAD”).
- The Court has allowed the lawsuit to be a class action on behalf of all persons who, on or after August 27, 2009, received one or more pre-recorded calls to their cell phones from Appstack OR received on a landline located within the State of Washington one or more pre-recorded telephone messages placed by Defendants or on Defendants’ behalf on or after August 27, 2009 through the date of final disposition of this action.
- The Court has not decided whether Defendants did anything wrong. There is no money available now, and no guarantee there will be. However, your legal rights are affected, and you have a choice to make now.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS LAWSUIT
|DO NOTHING||Stay in this lawsuit. Await the outcome. Give up certain rights.
By doing nothing, you keep the possibility of getting money that may come from a trial or a settlement. But, you give up any rights to sue Appstack separately about the same legal claims in this lawsuit.
|ASK TO BE EXCLUDED||Get out of this lawsuit. Get no benefits from it. Keep rights.
If you ask to be excluded and moneys are later awarded, you won’t share in those. But, you keep any rights to sue Appstack separately about the same legal claims in this lawsuit.
- Your options are explained in this notice. To ask to be excluded, you must act before January 22, 2016.
- Lawyers must prove the claims against Appstack at a trial set to start June 6, 2016. If money is obtained from Appstack, you will be notified about how to ask for a share.
1. Why did I get this notice?
Calling records indicate that you may have received one or more pre-recorded messages to your cellular telephone or landline from Appstack. This notice explains that the Court has allowed, or “certified,” a class action lawsuit that may affect you. You have legal rights and options that you may exercise before the Court holds a trial. The trial is to decide whether the claims being made against Appstack, on your behalf, are correct. Judge James L. Robart of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington is overseeing this class action. The lawsuit is known as Monty J. Booth, et al. v. Appstack, Inc., et al., No. 2:13-cv-01533-JLR.
2. What is this lawsuit about?
In a class action, one or more people, called class representatives, sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All of these people are a class, or class members. One court resolves the issues for all class members, except those who exclude themselves from the class.
Here, the class representatives claim that, on or after August 27, 2009, Appstack violated the TCPA by placing pre-recorded calls to cellular telephones and violated the WADAD by placing pre-recorded calls to landlines in Washington State. The class representatives claim that Appstack did not have the consumers’ permission to make these calls.
The Court has certified two “Classes,” a “TCPA Class” and “WADAD Class.” Defendants deny that they did anything wrong.
3. Why is this lawsuit a class action?
The Court decided that this lawsuit can be a class action and move towards a trial because it meets the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, which governs class actions in federal courts. Specifically, the Court found that:
- There are over 90,000 members in the TCPA Class and over 5,000 members in the WADAD Class.
- There are legal questions and facts that are common to each of them;
- Ricardo Mascarenas’ and Christopher Gregory’s claims are typical of the TCPA Class and Monty Booth’s claims are typical of the WADAD Class.
- Monty Booth, Ricardo Mascarenas, Christopher Gregory, and the lawyers representing the Classes will fairly and adequately represent the Classes’ interests;
- The common legal questions and facts are more important than questions that affect only individuals; and
- This class action will be more efficient than having many individual lawsuits.
More information about why the Court is allowing this lawsuit to be a class action is in the Court’s Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification and the Court’s July 13, 2015 Order certifying the WADAD Class, which is available here.
The Claims in the Lawsuit
4. What does the lawsuit complain about?
In the lawsuit, the Plaintiffs say that Appstack violated the TCPA by placing pre-recorded calls to cellular telephones without express prior consent. Plaintiffs also say that Appstack violated the WADAD by placing pre-recorded calls to landlines located in Washington State. You can read Plaintiffs’ Second Amended Class Action Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief here.
5. How does Appstack answer?
Appstack denies that it did anything wrong. Appstack also says that class certification was not appropriate. Appstack’s Answer to the Second Amended Class Action Complaint is available here.
6. Has the Court decided who is right?
The Court hasn’t decided whether Appstack or the Plaintiffs are correct. By establishing the Classes and issuing this notice, the Court is not suggesting that the Plaintiffs will win or lose this case. The Plaintiffs must prove their claims at a trial starting June 6, 2016. (See “The Trial” below on page 5.)
7. What are the Plaintiffs asking for?
The Plaintiffs are asking for $500 to $1,500 for each pre-recorded call Appstack placed to a cellular telephone. Plaintiffs are asking for $500 for each pre-recorded call Appstack placed to landlines located in Washington State.
8. Is there any money available now?
No money is available now because the Court has not decided whether Appstack did anything wrong, and the two sides have not settled the case. There is no guarantee that money will ever be obtained. If it is, you be notified about how to ask for a share.
Who Is in the Class
You need to decide whether you are affected by this lawsuit.
9. Am I part of these Classes?
Judge Robart decided that the TCPA Class includes: All persons or entities in the United States who, on or after four years before the filing of this action, received a call on their cellular telephone line with a pre-recorded message, made by or on behalf of Defendants.
Judge Robart decided that the WADAD Class includes: All persons who received on a landline located within the State of Washington one or more pre-recorded telephone messages placed by Defendants or on Defendants behalf on or after August 27, 2009, through the date of final disposition of this action.
10. I’m still not sure if I’m included.
If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can get free help by calling or writing the lawyers representing the Classes at the phone number or address listed in question 20.
Your Rights and Options
You have to decide whether to stay in the Class or ask to be excluded before the trial, and you have to decide this now.
11. What happens if I do nothing at all?
You don’t have to do anything now if you want to keep the possibility of getting money from this lawsuit. By doing nothing you are staying in the Class. If you stay in and the Plaintiffs obtain money, either as a result of the trial or a settlement, you will be notified about how to apply for a share (or how to ask to be excluded from any settlement). Keep in mind that if you do nothing now, regardless of whether the Plaintiffs win or lose the trial, you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue, Appstack — as part of any other lawsuit — about the same legal claims that are the subject of this lawsuit. You will also be legally bound by all of the Orders the Court issues and judgments the Court makes in this class action. If you do nothing, you may be able to sue for TCPA violations by Defendants that occur after the trial takes place.
12. Why would I ask to be excluded?
If you already have a TCPA or WADAD lawsuit against Appstack and want to continue with it, you need to ask to be excluded from the Classes. If you exclude yourself from the Classes — which also means to remove yourself from the Classes, and is sometimes called “opting-out” of the Class — you won’t get any money from this lawsuit even if the Plaintiffs obtain it as a result of the trial or from any settlement (that may or may not be reached) between Appstack and the Plaintiffs. However, you may then be able to sue or continue to sue Appstack for TCPA or WADAD violations that occurred or occurs at any time.
If you exclude yourself, you will not be legally bound by the Court’s judgments in this class action. If you start your own lawsuit against Appstack after you exclude yourself, you’ll have to hire and pay your own lawyer for that lawsuit, and you’ll have to prove your claims. If you do exclude yourself so you can start or continue your own lawsuit against Appstack, you should talk to your own lawyer soon, because your claims may be subject to a statute of limitations.
13. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from these Classes?
To ask to be excluded, you must send an “Exclusion Request” in the form of a letter sent by mail, stating that you want to be excluded from Monty Booth v. Appstack. Be sure to include your name, address, and sign the letter. You must mail your Exclusion Request postmarked by January 22, 2016, to: Monty Booth v. Appstack, 936 N. 34th Street, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98103.
The Lawyers Representing You
14. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
The Court has appointed Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC to represent you and all Class members. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. They are experienced in handling similar cases. More information about this law firm, its practice, and its lawyers’ experience is available at www.terrellmarshall.com.
15. Should I get my own lawyer?
You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. But, if you want your own lawyer, you will have to pay that lawyer. For example, you can ask him or her to appear in Court for you if you want someone other than Class Counsel to speak for you.
16. How will the lawyers be paid?
If Class Counsel obtain money for the Classes, they may ask the Court for fees and expenses. You won’t have to pay these fees and expenses. If the Court grants Class Counsel’s request, the fees and expenses would be either deducted from any money obtained for the Classes or paid separately by Defendants.
The Court has scheduled a trial to decide who is right in this case.
17. How and when will the Court decide who is right?
As long as the case isn’t resolved by a settlement or otherwise, Class Counsel will have to prove the Plaintiffs’ claims at trial. The trial is set to start on June 6, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, Washington 98101. During the trial, a Jury or the Judge will hear all the evidence to help them reach a decision about whether the Plaintiffs or the Defendants are right about the claims in the lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiffs will win, or that they will get any money for the Classes.
18. Do I have to come to the trial?
You do not need to attend the trial. Class Counsel will present the case for the Plaintiffs and Appstack will present the defenses. You or your own lawyer are welcome to come at your own expense.
19. Will I get money after the trial?
If the Plaintiffs obtain money as a result of the trial or a settlement, you will be notified about how to participate. We do not know how long this will take.
Getting More Information
20. Are more details available?
Visit the website, www.terrellmarshall.com, where you will find the Court’s Orders certifying the class, the Second Amended Complaint that the Plaintiffs submitted, and the Defendants’ Answer to the Second Amended Complaint. You also can speak to one of the lawyers by calling 1-855-201-3279 toll free or by writing to: Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC, 936 N 34th Street, Suite 300, Seattle, Washington 98103.
Please do not contact the court, the judge, or the defendants with questions about the action.