Peterson v. Apria Healthcare Group, Inc.
Non-Customer Call Settlement
No. 6:19-cv-00856

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • Notice was published in The Wall Street Journal, directed at all potential Class Members. The more detailed Notice can be read here.

    The Court ordered that a Notice be made available to Class Members because they have a right to know about a proposed settlement of the class action against Apria and about their options before the Court decides whether to approve the settlement.  If the Court approves the settlement, a Settlement Administrator will authorize the payments and other relief that the settlement allows.

    The Notice explains the lawsuit, the settlement, Class Members’ legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.  Please read the Notice carefully.

    The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida has jurisdiction over this proposed settlement.  The person who sued is called the Plaintiff, and the company they sued (Apria) is called the Defendant.

  • Apria provides home healthcare goods and services to customers on a nationwide basis.

    Plaintiff filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Apria under the caption Peterson v. Apria Healthcare Group Inc., 6:19-cv-856-ORL-31LRH (the “Action”).

    In the Action, Plaintiff claimed, among other things, that Apria placed calls and/or text messages to cellular telephones in violation of federal law.  Apria denies all allegations of wrongdoing and has asserted many defenses.  The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.

  • In a class action, one or more people, called Class Representative(s), sue on behalf of people who have similar claims.  In this case, the Class Representative is the Plaintiff, Scott Peterson.  One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except those who exclude themselves from the Class.  United States District Court Judge Gregory A. Presnell has jurisdiction over the case in which the parties have submitted this settlement for approval.

  • The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiff or Apria.  Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement.  That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and settlement benefits go to the Class Members.  The Class Representative and his attorneys think the settlement is best for the Class Members.

  • To see if you may qualify for a payment, you first have to determine whether you are a Class Member.

  • The Court has preliminarily decided that everyone who fits this description is a Class Member:  All persons within the United States who, between May 6, 2015 and the present, (1) received a non-emergency call or text message to their cellular telephone numbers; (2) through the use of an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or pre-recorded voice; (3) from Defendant; and (4) who were not Apria customers at the time of the calls and text messages.

  • The Class does not include Apria, any entity that has a controlling interest in Apria, and Apria’s current or former directors, officers, counsel, and their immediate families.  The Class also does not include any persons who validly request exclusion from the Class, as well as the presiding Judge in the Action, and the Judge’s staff and their immediate family members.

  • If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can review this settlement website for more information, or you could have completed and returned a claim to the Settlement Administrator. The deadline to submit a claim was October 2, 2020 and has passed.

  • Apria will provide payments to each Class Member who submits a valid claim form by October 2, 2020, (an “Eligible Claimant”) that meets the requirements for payment under the conditions described in Question 9 below.  These payments are also outlined in Question 9 below.

  • Apria will provide payments to each Class Member who submitted a valid claim form by October 2, 2020, (an “Eligible Claimant”) that meets the requirements for payment below:

    Class Members who submitted a valid claim attesting to having received an autodialed or prerecorded or artificial voice call or text message from or on behalf of Apria on a cell phone number to be provided on the claim form, and further attesting to (a) never providing that phone number to Apria, (b) never signing a Sales, Service, and Rental Agreement containing that phone number, (c) never authorizing anyone to provide that number to Apria, or (d) having received one or more such calls or text messages on that phone number after asking Apria or its vendors, either orally or in writing, not to call or text, would have a right to payment in an amount of up to $50.00.

    Thus, Eligible Claimants will receive a check in an amount up to $50.00.

  • To qualify for a payment, you were required to timely submit a completed claim form no later than October 2, 2020. The deadline to submit a claim has passed.

  • The Court will hold a hearing on October 30, 2020, to decide whether to approve the settlement.  If Judge Presnell approves the settlement after that, there may be appeals.  It is always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year.  It also takes time for the claim forms to be processed.  Please be patient.

    The proposed Settlement contemplates distributing payments to Eligible Claimants ninety (90) days from the date the Settlement becomes final and not subject to appeal.

  • Unless you exclude yourself, you stay in the Class; which means that you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Apria about the legal issues in this case.  If the settlement is approved and becomes final and not subject to appeal, then you and all Class Members release all “Released Claims” against all “Released Parties.”

    “Released Claims,” with respect to Plaintiff Class Members, means any and all claims, rights (including rights to restitution or reimbursement), demands, actions, causes of action, suits, liens, damages, attorneys’ fees, obligations, contracts, liabilities, agreements, costs, expenses or losses of any nature, whether known or unknown, direct or indirect, matured or unmatured, contingent or absolute, existing or potential, suspected or unsuspected, equitable or legal, and whether under federal statutory law, federal common law or federal regulation, or the statutes, constitutions, regulations, ordinances, common law, or any other law of any and all states or their subdivisions, parishes or municipalities that arise out of or relate in any way to the TCPA, or any calls or text messages received from Released Parties at any time from May 6, 2015 to the present, including, but not limited to, claims that have been, or could have been, brought in the Action, as well as any claims arising out of the same nucleus of operative facts as any of the claims asserted in the Action.  Apria reserves the right to seek contribution or indemnity from anyone or any entity, but not Settlement Class Members.

    “Released Parties” means Apria Healthcare LLC; Apria Healthcare Group Inc.;  and any other Apria collections and/or calling vendor, and their respective affiliates, parents, direct and indirect subsidiaries, agents, insurers, and any company or companies under common control with any of them, and each of their respective predecessors, successors, past and present officers, directors, employees, agents, servants, accountants, attorneys, advisors, shareholders, insurers, representatives, partners, vendors, issuers, and assigns, or anyone acting on their behalf.

  • If you don’t want a payment from this settlement, and you want to keep any right you may have to sue or continue to sue Apria or other Released Parties on your own about the Released Claims, then you must take steps to remove yourself from the Class.  This is called excluding yourself — and is sometimes referred to as “opting out” of the Class.  Apria may terminate the settlement if a certain number of people exclude themselves from the Class.

  • The deadline to exclude yourself was September 18, 2020 and has passed.

  • If you asked to be excluded, you will not get any payment from this settlement.  Also, you cannot object to the settlement.  You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in the Action.  You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) Apria in the future about the legal issues in this case.

  • No.  Unless you excluded yourself, you give up your right to sue Apria and the other Released Parties for the claims that this settlement resolves.  You needed to exclude yourself from this Class to pursue your own lawsuit.  Remember, your exclusion request needed to be postmarked on or before September 18, 2020 to be timely. The deadline to exclude yourself has passed.

  • No.  If you excluded yourself, do not send in a claim form to ask for any payment from this settlement.  You may exercise any right you may have to sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit against Apria and/or the other Released Parties.

  • The Court appointed John A. Yanchunis and Patrick A. Barthle II of Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group to represent the Class.  These lawyers are called Class Counsel.  You will not be charged for these lawyers.  The Court will determine the amount of Class Counsel’s fees and expenses, which Apria will pay as part of the settlement.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

  • Class Counsel will request from the Court an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses and for service awards for the Class Representative.  The total amount sought for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses will come from a settlement fund which will not exceed 33% of the fund.  The amount sought as a service award for the Class Representative will not exceed $2,500.  Apria will pay Class Counsel’s fees and expenses and the service award from the settlement fund.  Apria has agreed not to oppose the application for the service award, if made consistent with this paragraph.  Apria has agreed that it may object to the amount of, but not the entitlement to, the attorneys’ fees and costs and expenses made under and consistent with this paragraph.  You have the right to object to the requested fees and expenses and awards.  Apria will also pay the costs to administer the settlement.

    Class Counsel filed their papers in support of final approval of the settlement and their application for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses and for service awards to the Class Representative. You may review Class Counsel's motion here.

  • You can tell the Court that you don’t agree with the settlement or some part of it.

  • The deadline to object to the Settlement was September 18, 2020 and has passed.

  • Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the settlement.  You can object only if you stay in the Class.  Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class.  If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object, because the case no longer affects you.

  • The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the settlement.  You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you don’t have to.

  • The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 9:00 a.m. on October 30, 2020, at the George C. Young Federal Annex Courthouse, 401 West Central Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32801.  At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.  If there are objections, the Court will consider them.  Judge Presnell will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing.  The Court may also consider how much to pay Class Counsel.  After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement.  We do not know how long these decisions will take.

  • No.  Class Counsel will answer any questions Judge Presnell may have.  You are welcome to come at your own expense.  If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court and talk about it.  As long as your written objection is received on time, the Court will consider it.  You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary.  Finally, you may seek to intervene in the Action, but you do not need to do so.

  • You could have asked the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing.  To do so, you needed to send a letter saying that it was your “Notice of Intention to Appear” in “Peterson v. Apria Healthcare Group Inc., 6:19-cv-856-ORL-31LRH (M.D. Fla.).”  The deadline to submit your letter was September 18, 2020 and has passed. 

  • If you do nothing, you will not receive a payment.  If you do not exclude yourself from the Class, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Apria or the Released Parties about the legal issues in this case, ever again.

  • The Notice summarizes the proposed settlement.  More details appear in the Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims (the “Agreement”).  Copies of the Agreement and the pleadings and other documents relating to the case are on file at the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division and may be examined and copied at any time during regular office hours at the Office of the Clerk, George C. Young Federal Annex Courthouse, 401 West Central Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32801.  The Settlement Agreement and other pertinent case documents are also available on the Important Documents page.

  • You can review this website, where you will find answers to common questions about the settlement, the claim form, and the Settlement Agreement.  You may also write to: Apria Litigation Settlement Administrator, c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91344, Seattle, WA 98111. You should not direct questions to the Court.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Apria Litigation Settlement Administrator
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91344
Seattle, WA 98111