Bakov v. Consolidated World Travel, Inc., No. 21-2653 (7th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs asserted that CWT violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by calling class members using prerecorded messages. Plaintiffs moved to certify a nationwide class of people who had received VVT’s calls. The district court certified a class of Illinois residents, believing that Supreme Court precedent required a finding of no personal jurisdiction over CWT for purposes of the claims of the proposed nonresident class members. Plaintiffs used third-party service providers to identify and send notices to the 28,239 Illinois class members.
The district court granted the class summary judgment on the TCPA claim, finding that CWT’s TCPA violations were committed willfully or knowingly. A subsequent Seventh Circuit decision undercut the reason behind limiting the class to Illinois. The court re-opened that question, certified a nationwide class. and granted that class summary judgment, holding that the new class members were entitled to notice and an opportunity to opt-out. The district court ordered CWT to bear the costs of providing notice to the nationwide class, reasoning that CWT’s liability already had been established. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. While it would be unfair to shift costs to a defendant based solely on “[a] bare allegation of wrongdoing,” in these unusual circumstances, the court had the authority to assign costs to CWT.