The prison phone industry, which provides telecom services for prisons, jails and other detention facilities, has a long and sordid history of exploiting prisoners and their families by charging exorbitant phone rates and fees. [See: PLN, Dec. 2013, p.1; April 2011, p.1]. Over the past decade the industry ...
Judd v. ATT, WA, Notice of Class Action Settlement, Phone Rate Nondisclosure, 2013
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LEGAL NOTICE If you received a collect telephone call from an inmate at a Washington Department of Corrections Facility between June 20, 1996 and December 31, 2000, your rights may be affected by a class action settlement. A $45,000,000 settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against AT&T. The Court previously certified the lawsuit as a class action and is now considering whether to approve the settlement. This notice summarizes the settlement, your rights, and how to file a claim for a share of the settlement if it is approved by the Court. Who’s included? You may be a member of the class if you accepted collect calls within the state of Washington from Washington State Reformatory (Monroe), Twin Rivers Corrections Center, Indian Ridge Corrections Center (Arlington), Special Offender Center (Monroe), Clallam Bay Corrections Center, Washington Correction Center for Women (Purdy), Olympic Corrections Center, Pine Lodge PreRelease/Correction Center, Coyote Ridge, Washington Corrections Center (Shelton), McNeil Island Penitentiary, Washington State Penitentiary (Walla Walla), Airway Heights, and Tacoma Pre-Release between June 20, 1996 and December 31, 2000. What’s this about? This lawsuit claims that AT&T failed to provide required rate information on collect calls from Washington Department of Corrections facilities. The suit seeks statutory damages for persons who accepted or paid for those calls, which the Court has defined as $200 per person plus the cost of the collect calls accepted. What does the settlement provide? The settlement provides: (1) payment of $45,000,000, which will be distributed to class members after the payment of court-approved attorneys’ fees, litigation costs, administrative expenses, and case contribution award; (2) attorneys’ fees of up to 35% of the gross settlement amount and approximately $500,000 for litigation costs and expenses; (3) $50,000 case contribution awards to the Named Plaintiffs, Sandy Judd, Tara Herivel and Columbia Legal Services; and (4) release of AT&T from all liability arising from the calls at issue in this litigation. The Settlement Agreement may be viewed at www.sylaw.com/ATTsettlement. How do you make a claim? You may obtain a claim form by sending an email to TelephoneCalls@sylaw.com including your name, address, and telephone number and your request or question or by calling 206-838-3210. You may also submit a claim online at www.ratedisclosure.com. Your claim must be submitted by June 7, 2013. A class member’s payments will be based on the cost of all qualified collect calls accepted during the Class Period, plus $200. If, after the payment of fees, costs, expenses and a case contribution award, insufficient funds remain to fully pay all claims then each claim will be subject to a pro rata deduction. If the Court does not approve the Settlement Agreement, then the case will return to litigation which may, or may not, result in a recovery. What are your rights? If you are a member of the class, you have the right to object to, comment on, or support the Settlement Agreement or the request for payment of attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses or case contribution award or to exclude yourself from the class. You must submit your written comments by June 11, 2013 to: (1) the Clerk of the Court, Re: Judd v. AT&T, T-Netix, Cause No. 00-217565-5SEA, KING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, 516 3rd Ave., Seattle, WA 98104; (2) Chris R. Youtz and Richard E. Spoonemore, Class Counsel, SIRIANNI YOUTZ SPOONEMORE, 999 Third Avenue, Suite 3650, Seattle, WA 98104; and (3) Charles W. Douglas, AT&T’s Counsel, SIDLEY AUSTIN PLLC, One South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 80603. You have the right to exclude yourself from this lawsuit. To do call 206-838-3210 for instructions. You may also send a letter postmarked no later than June ___, 2013 to class counsel containing your name, address, and telephone number with a signed statement that you want to be excluded from the class. How can I get more information? You may receive more information at www.ratedisclosure.com or by calling 1-888-623-6176 or at www.sylaw.com/ATTsettlement.