A court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit known as Jessica Dipuglia, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, v. US Coachways, Inc., Case No. 1:17-23006-MGC (S.D. Fla.) and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give Final Approval to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.
Judge Marcia G. Cooke of the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida is overseeing this case. The person who sued, Jessica Dipuglia, is called the “Plaintiff.” USC is called the “Defendant.”Back To Top
The lawsuit alleges that USC sent text messages to Plaintiff’s wireless telephone number without prior express written consent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act 47 U.S.C. § 227 (“TCPA”) and seeks actual and statutory damages under the TCPA on behalf of the named Plaintiff and a class of all individuals in the United States.
USC denies each and every allegation of wrongdoing, liability, and damages that were or could have been asserted in the litigation and that the claims in the litigation would be appropriate for class treatment if the litigation were to proceed through trial.
The Settlement resolves the lawsuit. The Court has not decided who is right.Back To Top
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (commonly referred to as the “TCPA”) is a federal law that restricts telephone solicitations and the use of automated telephone equipment. The Plaintiff here alleged that USC sent marketing text messages to individuals without prior written consent in violation of the TCPA.Back To Top
In a class action, one person called the “Class Representative” (in this case, Plaintiff Jessica Dipuglia) sues on behalf of herself and other people with similar claims.
All of the people who have claims similar to the Plaintiff’s are members of the Settlement Class, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.Back To Top
The Court has not found in favor of either Plaintiff or USC. Instead, both sides have agreed to a settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the Parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and if the Settlement is approved by the Court, Settlement Class Members and Settlement Class Claimants will receive the benefits described in FAQ 7. USC denies all legal claims in this case.
A “Settlement Class Member” is any person included in the Settlement Class who does not opt out of the Settlement. A “Settlement Class Claimant” is any person included in the Settlement Class who files a valid Claim prior to the Claims Deadline and who does not opt out of the Settlement. Plaintiff and her lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.Back To Top
The Settlement includes all persons in the United States who received one or more text messages sent by or on behalf of USC between February 6, 2017 and August 7, 2017 reading, in the same or substantially similar language as follows:
“USCOACH: Download USC App $25OFF Promo ‘uscapp’ http://usc.am/iPhone or http://usc.am/Android. Text Stop to stop or Help for help. Msg&data rates may apply.”
These people are called the "Settlement Class."
Excluded from the Settlement Class are the following:
USC has agreed to provide a $101.03 voucher for USC services to all Settlement Class Members (see FAQ 6). USC has also agreed to pay $30.31 to Settlement Class Claimants (see FAQ 6). USC has also agreed to pay to pay all administration costs, an attorneys’ fee, costs and expenses award, and a Service Award to the Class Representative. The cash payments will be distributed via check to Settlement Class Claimants. Each Settlement Class Claimant may file one Claim and receive one cash payment for a timely and valid Claim.Back To Top
USC has also agreed to pay $30.31 to Settlement Class Claimants (see FAQ 6) who file valid Claims. In order to receive monetary compensation, Class Members must file a Claim no later than July 30, 2018.
USC has also agreed to provide a $101.03 voucher for Coachways Credits to all Settlement Class Members (as defined above). Vouchers will be made available to every Settlement Class Member whether or not a Claim Form is completed. Coachways Credits shall not expire for a period of two (2) years from the date of the Final Approval Order, shall be fully transferable, and can be used on multiple occasions until fully exhausted. The Coachways Credits shall not have any cash redemption value, partial or otherwise, and shall only be used for services offered by Coachways. Vouchers will be delivered via email after the Final Approval Order is granted.Back To Top
Vouchers for USC services will be sent to Settlement Class Members, and payments will be made to Settlement Class Claimants only after the Court grants Final Approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved (see FAQ 18). If there are appeals, resolving them can take time. Please be patient.Back To Top
Unless you opt out of the Settlement, you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against USC about the issues in this case, including any existing litigation, arbitration, or proceeding. Unless you exclude yourself, all of the decisions and judgments by the Court will bind you.
The Settlement Agreement, available here, provides more detail regarding the Releases and describes the Released Claims with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate legal terminology, so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firms representing the Settlement Class listed in FAQ 13 for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the Released Claims or what they mean.Back To Top
The deadline to request exclusion passed on July 30, 2018 and it is no longer possible to be excluded from the Settlement.Back To Top
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue USC for the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement Class in order to pursue your own lawsuit.Back To Top
No. You will not get a voucher or payment if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.Back To Top
The Court has appointed the following lawyers as “Class Counsel” to represent all members of the Settlement Class.
Kopelowitz Ostrow Ferguson
Shamis & Gentile, P.A.
You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.Back To Top
Class Counsel intend to request up to 19% of the value of the Settlement for attorneys’ fees, expenses and costs incurred in the litigation. The Court will decide the amount of fees and expenses to award.
Class Counsel will also request that a Service Award of $5,000.00 be paid to the Class Representative for her service as representative on behalf of the whole Settlement Class.Back To Top
The deadline to file an objection to the Settlement passed on July 30, 2018 and it is no longer possible to object to the Settlement.Back To Top
Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.Back To Top
The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing on September 5, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check this website for updates.
At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will also consider the requests by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses and for a Service Award to the Class Representative. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at that time. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. It is unknown how long these decisions will take.Back To Top
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you submitted your written objection on time to the proper addresses and it complies with all the other requirements set forth above, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend the hearing, but it is not necessary.Back To Top
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, your timely filed objection must include a statement of whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing (see FAQ 16). You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.Back To Top
If you are a Settlement Class Member and do nothing, meaning you do not file a timely Claim or opt out of the Settlement, you will receive a $101.03 voucher for US Coachways services, but you will not get any cash benefit from the Settlement. Further, unless you exclude yourself, you will be bound by the judgment entered by the Court.Back To Top
This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. You are urged to review more details in the Settlement Agreement. You also may write with questions to the Settlement Administrator at Dipuglia Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 4655, Portland, OR 97208-4655 or call the toll-free number, 1-855-331-3619.Back To Top