A federal judge has approved a settlement that requires Domino's Pizza to pay $9.75 million for making robocalls to wireless devices of consumers in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.
The settlement stems from a class-action lawsuit filed by Louisiana resident Toni Spillman, who initially alleged that a Domino's franchise sent unwanted SMS ads and also sent prerecorded voice calls to “thousands” of cell phones between 2006 and 2010. Spillman alleged that the pizza chain violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits marketers from using automated dialers to call people's cell phones, or to send them SMS texts.
Spillman says in her complaint -- filed in May of 2010 -- that the text messages contained ads for home delivery of pizzas; some of the SMS ads also contained promotional coupons, according to Spillman's legal papers.
The settlement agreement calls for Domino's to pay up to $15 to people who received pre-recorded calls to their cell phones, but only between May of 2009 and May of 2010. Consumers who received robocalls in the three years prior to May 2009 are entitled to vouchers for a large pizza. The deal does not appear to offer any payout to people who may have received SMS ads.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Stephen Riedlinger in the Middle District of Louisiana quietly approved the settlement late last month.
The lawsuit is part of a recent flurry of cases alleging violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Marketers ranging from Best Buy to Simon & Schuster to Pizza Hut also have been sued for allegedly violating that law, as have numerous Web companies, including Facebook, Yahoo and Google.