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October 27, 2020

Full 11th Circ. Urged To Buck Ban On Class Incentive Awards

The full Eleventh Circuit is being pressed to review a panel decision in a dispute over a $1.4 million robocall settlement that found class representatives can’t recover routine incentive awards, with the lead plaintiff arguing that this categorical ban would hobble class action litigation and an objector to the deal taking issue with the calculation of class counsel’s fees. 

Lead plaintiff Charles Johnson and objector Jenna Dickenson in separate petitions filed Thursday seized on differing rationales in attempting to convince the appellate court to reconsider a panel ruling handed down last month that directed the lower court to revisit its approval of the contested class action settlement in a dispute accusing medical debt collector NPAS Solutions LLC of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. 

In a divided decision, the panel concluded that a pair of U.S. Supreme Court rulings from the 1880s prohibited Johnson from being awarded $6,000 for his role in the litigation and that the district court had failed to provide a sufficient explanation for signing off on the deal or class counsel’s request to recover 30% of the settlement fund.

Johnson is represented by Michael L. Greenwald of Greenwald Davidson Radbil PLLC, Ashley Keller, Travis Lenkner, Warren Postman and Noah Heinz of Keller Lenkner LLP and Samuel Issacharoff. 

Dickenson is represented by the Law Office of Eric Alan Isaacson, Law Office of John W. Davis and Law Office of Charles Benjamin Nutley. 

NPAS Solutions is represented by Maura K. Monaghan and Jacob W. Stahl of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Martin B. Goldberg, Alan D. Lash, Lorelei J. Van Wey and Michael L. Ehren of Lash & Goldberg LLP.

The case is Dickenson v. NPAS Solutions LLC, case number 18-12344, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Read more on Law360.com.