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Lawsuits & Litigation

Robocall Class-Action Suit Ends with $1M Settlement

— July 1, 2021

A robocall lawsuit against former Gov. Bruce Rauner is coming to an end with a $1 million settlement agreement.

Robocalls. We all get them. We all get annoyed by them. Fortunately, one robocall class-action lawsuit is coming to an end with the announcement of a $1 million agreement. The suit was filed against former Gov. Bruce Rauner and his campaign entity, Citizens for Rauner, on behalf of people targeted by a “campaign robocall from Rauner since his first campaign in 2014.” The plaintiffs are set to receive a chunk of the $1 million settlement.

Gavel with law books; image by wp paarz, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.
Gavel with law books; image by wp paarz, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.

The suit was filed by Peter Garvey, a resident of Illinois. He received three pre-recorded voice mails from Rauner’s campaign back in 2018. Garvey is only one of 35,000 people or more that made up the class members. It’s yet unknown how much each person will receive after things like administration and attorney fees are factored in.

According to the suit, the robocalls left by Citizens for Rauner on thousands of cellphones “encouraged people to vote for Rauner in the upcoming March 2018 primary election.” In the 30-second message, Rauner can be heard saying, in part, “Illinois is worth fightin’ for and with real reform together we can bring back Illinois and provide the future our children deserve. Please join me in the fight against Mike Madigan and his special interest allies. I’m askin’ for your vote on Tuesday, March 20.”

The suit noted that the messages were “left through so-called ‘ringless voicemails,’ which is a technology used to deliver voicemail messages the same way as text messages.” Garvey and others argued that the ringless voicemails “ violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.” A violation of that law is defined as “making any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a … cellular telephone service….” Anyone who violates the TCPA must pay $500 in damages per violation.

In addition, the suit claimed the excessive voice messages caused the class members harm, including “invasion of privacy, aggravation, annoyance, intrusion on seclusion, trespass, and conversion.” A federal judge agreed and preliminarily approved the proposed agreement. A final hearing regarding the matter is scheduled for September 7, 2021.

How can class members ensure they get their chunk of the settlement, though? Well, at the moment the class members will have to submit the necessary claim forms by August 11 to be eligible for monetary compensation. Other than that, there is nothing else that needs to be done at this time.


Rauner agrees to settle robocall lawsuit for $1 million

Former Gov. Bruce Rauner agrees to settle robocall lawsuit for $1 million

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