Frequently Asked Questions
- What is this lawsuit about?
- How do I know if I am part of the settlement?
- What can I get from the settlement?
- How can I get an offset or payment?
- Do I have a lawyer in the case?
- How will the lawyers be paid?
- How do I get out of the settlement?
- How do I tell the Court if I don’t like the settlement?
- When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?
- Do I have to come to the hearing?
- May I speak at the hearing?
- How do I get more information?
Clearwire sells wireless Internet access service to consumers. Bureau of Recovery, LLC ("BOR") contracted with Clearwire to place telephone calls to Clearwire customers with past-due accounts.
Representative Plaintiffs filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Clearwire and BOR under the caption Kwan, et al. v. Clearwire Corp., et al., No. C09-1392 JLR (the "Action").
In the Action, Representative Plaintiffs claimed, among other things, that Clearwire and its vendors placed calls to cellular telephones in violation of federal and state law, as well as calls to people who asked not to be called. Defendants deny all allegations of wrongdoing and have asserted many defenses. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.
Judge Robart has decided that everyone who fits this description is a Class Member: All persons and entities who, from and including August 31, 2005, through the date of Preliminary Approval, (a) received a call from or on behalf of Clearwire on any telephone, whether for collections, solicitation, "service," or any other purposes; or (b) received a call from or on behalf of Clearwire on any telephone after they requested that Clearwire and/or its vendors stop calling; or (c) received a prerecorded solicitation call from or on behalf of Clearwire on any telephone in Washington State. You are a Class Member if you received any of these calls even if you were not a Clearwire customer.
The Class does not include Defendants, any entity that has a controlling interest in any Defendant, and Defendants’ current or former directors, officers, counsel, and their immediate families. The Class also does not include any persons who validly request exclusion from the Class.
Clearwire will provide offsets or make payments to each person who submitted a valid Claim Form by May 27, 2013, (an "Eligible Claimant") that meets the requirements for payment under any of the categories below.
- Revoked Consent Claims. Eligible Claimants who attest to (a) being or having been a Clearwire customer and (b) having received one or more telephone calls from or on behalf of Clearwire after having asked Clearwire or its vendors, either orally or in writing, not to call, will have a right to payment in the amount of $25.00 per call up to a maximum of $100.00.
- Non–Customer Claims. Eligible Claimants who attest to (a) having never been a Clearwire customer and (b) having received calls from or on behalf of Clearwire will have a right to payment in the amount of $25.00 per call up to a maximum of $100.00.
- Cell Calls. Eligible Claimants who attest to (a) having signed up for Clearwire service with TOS effective before April 1, 2010, and (b) having received an autodialed call on their cell phones from or on behalf of Clearwire other than in connection with an existing debt, will have a right to payment in the amount of $25.00 per call up to a maximum of $100.00.
- WADAD Calls. Eligible Claimants who attest to having received a prerecorded solicitation call from or on behalf of Clearwire on any telephone in Washington State will have a right to payment in the amount of $25.00 per call up to a maximum of $100.00.
Clearwire has also agreed to forgive all indebtedness owed by Class Members as of April 30, 2010, that was unpaid as of December 7, 2012. To the extent Clearwire previously reported to credit reporting agencies that a Class Member owed the debt forgiven under the Agreement, Clearwire will advise those credit reporting agencies that the debt has been forgiven and will respond to future credit reporting agency inquiries by reporting the forgiveness.
In addition, as to its future conduct, Clearwire has agreed for a period of five (5) years after the date of Final Approval to the following:
In addition, as to its future conduct, Clearwire has agreed to the following:
- Vendor Identification. Clearwire shall exert reasonable efforts to see that any call made to a customer for collection purposes by a vendor of Clearwire shall state the name of the vendor and that it concerns a named person, to the extent required by the FDCPA.
- Identification of Called Party and Clearwire. Clearwire shall exert reasonable efforts to see that any call made to a customer for collection purposes by Clearwire shall state that the call concerns a named person and the call is from Clearwire.
- Holidays. Clearwire shall exert reasonable efforts to see that neither Clearwire nor any of its vendors will call a customer with an autodialer using prerecorded messages for any purposes on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, or any national holiday celebrated on a Monday.
To qualify for an offset or payment, you must have sent in a Claim Form. The deadline to submit a Claim Form was May 27, 2013.
The Court appointed the law firm of Williamson & Williams to represent the Class. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. The Court determined the amount of Class Counsel’s fees and expenses, which Defendants will pay as part of the settlement. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
Class Counsel requested from the Court an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses and for service awards for the Representative Plaintiffs. The total amount sought for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses did not exceed $2,900,000.00. The amounts sought as service awards for the Representative Plaintiffs did not exceed $35,000 to Plaintiff Kwan, $10,000 each to Plaintiffs Brown and Reasonover, and $5,000 each to the remaining six Plaintiffs, for a total of $85,000. Defendants will pay Class Counsel’s fees and expenses and the service awards. These amounts will not come out of any funds for payments to Class Members. Defendants did not oppose these fees and expenses and awards. You had the right to object to the requested fees and expenses and awards. Defendants will also pay the costs to administer the settlement. Class Counsel filed their papers in support of Final Approval of the Settlement and their application for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses and for service awards to the Representative Plaintiffs on February 26, 2013. These papers can be viewed here. The Court approved Class Counsel’s requests on May 6, 2013.
The deadline to exclude yourself from the settlement was March 28, 2013.
The deadline to object to the settlement was March 28, 2013.
The Court held a Fairness Hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6, 2013, at the U.S. Courthouse, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, Washington 98101. At this hearing, the Court considered whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court considered all objections. The Court also considered how much to pay Class Counsel. The Court approved the settlement on May 6, 2013, which can be seen here.
You did not have to come to the hearing. The Court held the Fairness Hearing at 1:30 p.m. on May 6, 2013.
The deadline to request to speak at the hearing was March 28, 2013.
More details about the settlement can be found in the Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims (the “Agreement”). Copies of the Agreement and the pleadings and other documents relating to the case are available on this website or on file at the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle and may be examined and copied at any time during regular office hours at the Office of the Clerk, U.S. Courthouse, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, Washington 98101.
You may also write to:
Kwan v. Clearwire Corporation
P.O. Box 35043
Seattle, WA 98124-3508
Questions may not be directed to the Court.