A settlement has been reached in Hooters class action lawsuit. The suit accuses the defendant of sending consumers unwanted text messages. Thus, Hooters of America LLC will have to pay $1.3 million.
The lead plaintiff who filed the lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2015 is Michael Etzel. He notes that Hooters violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act or TCPA. Etzel asserts the defendant sent unwanted text messages to consumers’ cell phones without their consent.
Pitts Carr and Alex D. Weatherby of Carr & Weatherby LLP, Nicholas P. Panayotopoulos and Nancy F. Rigby of Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial LLC, and David Ghattas of the Law Office of David Ghattas are representing the lead plaintiff.
It’s worth mentioning that the TCPA aims to provide consumers’ protection from telemarketers, as well as other parties who contact them without their consent. Those who violate the TCPA usually pay fines from $500 to $1,500 (per call or text).
In order to end the litigation process, the defendant made a decision of funding about $1.3 million in gift cards. As a result, the plaintiff and other Class members as well will get $50 or $20 in gift cards (depending on the class member’s tier level).
Tier one Class Members are those consumers who got unwanted text messages from Hooters, although they had opted out of receiving any messages previously. Regarding Tier two Class, it involves consumers who were subject to an opt out message, after October 16, 2013. Well, during this period of time the Federal Communication Commission made a decision of requiring companies to make marketing calls or send text messages only in case of having a written permission. Furthermore, Hooters can no longer send text messages to Class members, if the restaurant chain lacks an express written consent.
In fact, the settlement is the outcome of the extensive negotiation process, as well as the appropriate legal analysis and factual investigation.
The foundation of Hooters dates back to 1983 when six businessmen opened a restaurant in Clearwater, Florida. They took this step, although had no experience in a restaurant business. Hooters brand, based in Atlanta, Georgia, has developed a lot since then. It turned into an international restaurant chain, which can boast with over 420 Hooters located in 29 countries of the world. Among these countries are Hungary, Korea, Japan, Panama, the Russian Federation, Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland, Singapore, Thailand, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Europe, as well as Africa, and Australia. The menu of the restaurant chain usually includes the following: seafood, sandwiches, salads, chicken wings and tacos. Hooters restaurants also offer ice-cold drinks, beers, cocktails, and wines. Here you also have the opportunity of purchasing the restaurant chain’s T-shirts, sweatshirts and other souvenirs. It’s essential to point out that Hooters restaurants usually have alcoholic beverage licenses.