Larson v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 10-1285 (3d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Until late 2008, Sprint included a flat-rate early termination fee provision in its cellular telephone contracts, which allowed it to charge a set fee to customers who terminated their contracts before the end date stated in the contract. Class action lawsuits were brought against cellular phone service providers who charged flat-rate ETFs, including Sprint. In this case, the plaintiffs entered into negotiations with Sprint, and, after five months of mediation, the parties decided to settle the matter for $17.5 million. Over objections lodged by several class members, the district court certified the settlement class and approved the Settlement Agreement. The Third Circuit vacated and remanded. The district court did not adequately protect the rights of absent class members when it determined that it would be unreasonable to require a search of billing records for the purpose of providing individual notice to those class members. The court also suggested that the district court consider whether class representatives can adequately represent all members.