The United States, acting through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and co-plaintiffs California, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio have settled with Dish Network L.L.C. in a case accusing the television provider of placing millions of automated calls to undesiring recipients.
The parties’ stipulated order for monetary judgment states that the settlement represents an end to the parties’ dispute over the robocalls, alleged to have been placed in violation of state and federal consumer protection laws, and leaves in place court-ordered injunctive relief.
The filing states and federal government first brought suit in 2009, filing their third amended complaint in 2015. In 2016, the Central District of Illinois conducted a six-week bench trial. In June 2017, the court held Dish Network liable for millions of illegal telemarketing calls, imposed compliance, monitoring, and reporting requirements, and awarded the plaintiffs a settlement totaling $280 million.
Dish Network appealed to the Seventh Circuit, which vacated the monetary judgment and remanded earlier this year, finding that “the analysis for the monetary award should ‘start from harm rather than wealth.’” Now, Dish Network has agreed to settle the matter for $70 million less than the initial award. The television provider is set to pay $126 million to the federal government, nearly $40 million to California, $13 million to Illinois, almost $14 million to North Carolina, and $17 million to Ohio for the alleged harm.
Relatedly, a private Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action accusing Dish Network of similar violations is drawing to a close before a federal judge in North Carolina. In late October, the court decided to appoint a special master to aid in the disbursal of the $11 million in funds remaining after the claims administration process, Law Street Media reported.