Real estate brokerage Keller Williams has settled a class action lawsuit alleging that the firm violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. As part of the settlement, Keller Williams has agreed to pay $40 million.
The lawsuit claims that Keller Williams agents made unsolicited, pre-recorded calls to consumers without their consent, including calls to consumers on the National Do Not Call Registry.
In the settlement, Keller Williams denies any wrongdoing.
“As a matter of policy, we typically don’t comment on settled and pending litigation,” said Darryl Frost, spokesperson for Keller Williams.
The suit was filed in June 2022 by attorneys Stefan Coleman and Avi R. Kaufman in the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Indian-River County, Florida, on behalf of Beverly DeShay.
According to the filing, the settlement agreement resolves the DeShay case and the claims in other TCPA cases filed by Kaufman and Coleman against Keller Williams.
The settlement states that roughly 2 million people may be eligible to receive payments of up to $20 each. This, however, is much smaller than the $500 per violation and $1,500 per willful or knowing violation stipulated under the TCPA. The settlement must still receive final approval from the court.
According to the agreement, attorneys’ fees for the suit cannot exceed $10 million and the fees will be paid from the maximum $40 million settlement sum Keller Williams has agreed to.
In addition to the settlement sum, the firm has also agreed to create a TCPA take force, whose job it will be to “enhance compliance” with the law; to make the existing TCPA and Do Not Call resource page on the franchisor’s intranet, KW Connect, more visible to its franchisees and affiliated agents; and to provide additional materials to its franchisees about TCPA and DNC compliance that they can use with their affiliated agents.
Those wishing to submit a claim in the class action suit must do so by March 7, 2023.