Being a Class Member means, unless you excluded yourself, that you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Nationwide about the legal issues in this case, and that all of the decisions and judgments by the Court will bind you.
If you were to file your own lawsuit for violations of the TCPA and prevailed for Variable Calls, MediaAlpha Calls, or Nationwide IDNC Calls, you could obtain damages of $500 per violation, or up to $1,500 per violation if the statute is found to have been willfully or knowingly violated.
However, Nationwide has denied that it made any illegal calls to anyone or engaged in any wrongdoing of any kind, and Nationwide has a full range of potential defenses, including that Nationwide should not be held liable for the calls Variable and MediaAlpha made. Further, Nationwide asserts it is not known what proportion of the calls at issue were actually received, were without consent, or were not self-initiated. In addition, the TCPA does not provide for attorneys’ fees to prevailing individual plaintiffs.
If you accept a Cash Award or did not exclude yourself from the lawsuit, you will be unable to file your own lawsuit involving all of the claims described and identified below, and you will release Nationwide and the Released Parties from any liability for them. The Released Parties are related to Nationwide and its agents, and do not include Variable or MediaAlpha.
Remaining in the Class means that you, as well as your respective assigns, heirs, executors, administrators, successors, representatives, agents, partners, attorneys, predecessors-in-interest, and any (past or present) authorized users of your cellular or residential telephones, hereby release, resolve, relinquish, and discharge each and every one of the Released Parties from each of the Released Claims (as defined below). You further agree that they will not institute any action or cause of action (in law, in equity or administratively), suits, debts, liens, or claims, known or unknown, fixed or contingent, which they may have or claim to have, in state or federal court, in arbitration, or with any state, federal or local government agency or with any administrative or advisory body, arising from or related in any way to the Released Claims. “Released Claims” means any and all claims, causes of action, suits, obligations, debts, demands, agreements, promises, liabilities, damages, losses, controversies, costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees of any nature whatsoever, whether based on any federal law, state law, common law, territorial law, foreign law, contract, rule, regulation, any regulatory promulgation (including, but not limited to, any opinion or declaratory ruling), or equity, whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, asserted or unasserted, foreseen or unforeseen, actual or contingent, liquidated or unliquidated, punitive or compensatory, as of the date of the Final Approval Order, that arise out of or relate in any way to this Action or the facts that give rise to this Action, including but not limited to claims that could have been asserted in the Action. The Released Claims specifically extend to claims that Plaintiffs and Settlement Class Members do not know or suspect to exist in their favor at the time that the Settlement Agreement and the releases contained therein become effective. This release shall be interpreted to the fullest extent of res judicata principles. In addition, any rights of the Class Representatives and each and every one of the Settlement Class Members to the protections afforded under Section 1542 of the California Civil Code and/or any other similar, comparable, or equivalent laws, are terminated.
Remaining in the Class also means that you further agree and covenant not to sue any of the Released Parties with respect to any of the Released Claims, or otherwise to assist others in doing so, and agree to be forever barred from doing so, in any court of law or equity, or any other forum.
The Settlement Agreement (available at the Important Documents page) provides more detail regarding the release and describes the Released Parties and Released Claims with accurate legal terminology, so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firms representing the Class listed in the “Do I have a lawyer in this case?” section below for free or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the Released Parties or the Released Claims or what they mean.
The release does not apply to Class Members who timely opted-out of the Settlement.