By Chris Bruce
July 7 — A federal judge gave initial approval to a $9.25 million settlement between American Express Co. and consumers who said the company made illegal debt collection calls and telemarketing calls to their cell phones ( Ossola v. Am. Express Co., N.D. Ill., No. 13-cv-04836, preliminary approval 7/6/16 ).
The July 6 action by Judge John Z. Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois centered on claims by Jennifer Ossola and others that AmEx, by itself or through third parties, violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Among other points, the settlement highlights the importance of ACA International v. FCC (No. 15-cv-01211), a case now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which is hearing a challenge to Federal Communication Commission rulings that define “automatic telephone dialing system” under the TCPA.
Uncertainty about the outcome in that case was a factor in reaching the settlement, court papers said.
AmEx spokeswoman Marina H. Norville declined to comment on the accord July 7.
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