Pressman v. Smith Medical Partners, LLC

Frequently Asked Questions about the Smith TCPA Fax Settlement

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Questions

Answers

1. WHY WAS THE NOTICE ISSUED?

Answer:

A Court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement.  The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.

Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell of the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division overseeing is overseeing this case. The case is called Pressman v. Smith Medical Partner, Case No. 19-cv-1723. Pressman, Inc. and Pill Box Pines West, LLC  are called the Plaintiffs or Settlement Class Representatives. The Defendants are Smith Medical Partners, LLC and H. D. Smith, LLC. 

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2. WHAT IS A CLASS ACTION?

Answer:

In a class action, one or more people or entities called Settlement Class Representatives (in this case, Pressman, Inc. and Pill Box Pines West, LLC) sue on behalf of a group or a “class” of people or entities that have similar claims.  In a class action, the court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.

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3. WHAT IS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT?

Answer:

Pressman, Inc. and Pill Box Pines West, LLC (“Plaintiffs”) filed a Class Action Complaint alleging that Smith Medical Partners, LLC and H. D. Smith, LLC (collectively “Smith”) sent unsolicited advertisements by facsimile during the time period between September 26, 2013, and January 25, 2019 (the “Smith Faxes”). Plaintiffs allege that the Smith Faxes were sent without prior express invitation or permission or the required opt-out notice, allegedly in violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227. Smith denies Plaintiffs’ allegations, raised defenses, and argues, among other things, that many of the Smith Faxes were not advertisements, that Smith had prior express invitation or permission from the fax recipients, and that facsimiles received electronically are not actionable. Notwithstanding their disagreements, the parties have proposed a settlement that, if approved by the Court, will resolve all of the Settlement Class’s claims about the Smith Faxes. Pursuant to Rule 23(c)(2)(B)(iv), you may enter an appearance in the case through your own attorney, if you so desire, but you are not required to do so. 

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4. WHY IS THERE A SETTLEMENT?

Answer:

The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiffs or Smith Medical Partners, LLC and H. D. Smith, LLC should win this case.  Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement.  That way, they avoid the risk and expense associated with ongoing litigation, and Class Members will get compensation sooner rather than, if at all, after the completion of a trial and any appeals.

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5. HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM IN THE SETTLEMENT CLASS?

Answer:

The Court decided that everyone who fits the following description are members of the Settlement Class:

All persons who were sent, by or on behalf of H. D. Smith, LLC or Smith Medical Partners, LLC, one or more advertisements by facsimile from September 26, 2013 through January 25, 2019. Excluded from the Settlement Class are Defendants, any parent, subsidiary, affiliate or controlled person of Defendants, as well as the members, managers, officers, directors, agents, servants or employees of Defendants, the immediate family members of such persons, and this Court.

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6. WHAT IS THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT?

Answer:

Without admitting any fault or liability, Smith has agreed to pay $4,500,000 (the “Settlement Fund”) in exchange for a release of all claims about any and all Smith Faxes sent to the Settlement Class (see Section V of the Settlement Agreement for a more detailed description of the Released Claims and Released Parties) . The Settlement Fund will be distributed to pay the Class Members who submit claims, to pay an Incentive Award to Plaintiffs for serving as the Class Representatives, to pay Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses to Plaintiffs’ attorneys, and to pay the cost of Settlement Administration. Each claiming Class Member will receive a pro rata share of the available funds; one share for each of its fax numbers in the Smith fax lists. (You will identify your fax numbers on the Claim Form, and the Settlement Administrator will cross check them against the fax numbers on the lists.) The amount you will receive depends upon how many Class Members submit claims, but it is expected that no less than $3,000,000 will be distributed to Class Members who submit Claim Forms.


The Court has Preliminarily Approved this Settlement, subject to a Final Approval Hearing that will occur on December 10, 2020, at 11:00 a.m., in Room 13 in the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse, 801 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602. 

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7. HOW DO I GET OUT OF THE SETTLEMENT?

Answer:

You can exclude yourself from the Settlement and the case by filing a written request with the Clerk of Court at the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse, 801 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602. Your request must be postmarked on or before October 19, 2020, and it must list your name, company name (if applicable), fax number(s), street address, and the case name and number above. You must also mail copies of your exclusion request, postmarked by the same date, to: 


For the Settlement Class:

Phillip A. Bock

Bock, Hatch, Lewis & Oppenheim, LLC

134 N. La Salle St., Suite 1000

Chicago, IL 60602

312-658-5501 Chicago direct

305-239-8726 Miami direct


For Defendant:

Martin Jaszczuk

Jaszczuk P.C.

311 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 3200

Chicago, IL 60606

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8. HOW DO I OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT?

Answer:

If you object to the Settlement, and wish to file an objection rather than excluding yourself, you must submit your objection in writing to the Clerk of Court at the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse, 801 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602. Your objection must be postmarked by October 19, 2020. You must also serve copies of your objection and any supporting memoranda or materials on each of the attorneys for the Settlement Class and for Smith listed above, postmarked by the same date. Any objection must include your name, fax number, telephone number, street address, all attorneys who assisted you in the preparation and filing of your objection, a list of all other class action cases in which you or your counsel have filed objections to settlements, a statement of the reasons why you believe the Court should find that the proposed Settlement is not in the best interests of the Settlement Class, and an original signature or the signature of your counsel. It is not enough to say that you object; you must state the reasons why you believe the Court should not approve the Settlement. If you file an objection and wish to present it to the Court, then you must appear at the Final Approval Hearing before Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell in Courtroom 13 of the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse, 801 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602 on December 10, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. At your own cost, you may retain an attorney to appear at this hearing. You are not required to attend this hearing unless you object to the Settlement. 

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9. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OBJECTING AND EXCLUDING MYSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT?

Answer:

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


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10. IF I DON’T EXCLUDE MYSELF, CAN I SUE THE DEFENDANT FOR THE SAME THING LATER?

Answer:

No.  If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement and it is ultimately approved by the Court, you will give up any right to sue  Smith Medical Partners, LLC and H. D. Smith, LLC for the claims being resolved by this Settlement. 

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11.  IF I EXCLUDE MYSELF, CAN I GET ANYTHING FROM THIS SETTLEMENT?

Answer:

No.  If you exclude yourself, you will not receive any benefits or payments under the Settlement, but you will retain your ability to sue Smith Medical Partners, LLC and H. D. Smith, LLC   for the claims the Settlement releases. 


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12. HOW DO I GET A PAYMENT?

Answer:

To receive a share of the Settlement Fund, you must complete and return a Claim Form postmarked, faxed, or filed online to the Settlement Administrator no later than November 16, 2020. The Claim Form is attached to the notice or you may submit a claim electronically under the "Submit Claim" section of this website. You do not need to remember receiving any fax from Smith and you do not need to have any copies of Smith Faxes to submit your claim. If your claim is approved, you will be mailed a check for your share of the Settlement.


**NOTE: If you submitted a claim in the canceled Settlement in Steven Arkin v. Smith Medical Partners, LLC, et al., Case No. 18 CH 984 (Lake County, IL), your claim will be honored in this Settlement and you do not need to submit another Claim Form. To check on the status of your Arkin claim, you can call the Settlement Administrator at 1-844-491-5743.

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13. WHEN WILL I GET MY PAYMENT?

Answer:

The Final Approval Hearing shall be held before this Court on December 10, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. to determine whether to grant Final Approval to the Settlement Agreement and to enter a Final Approval Order, and whether Class Counsel’s application for a Fee Award and request for an Incentive Award should be granted. All Settlement Class Members will be informed that checks containing payments must be cashed within ninety (90) days of issuance or else the check will be void and they will have.


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14. HOW MUCH WILL MY PAYMENT BE?

Answer:

Each Settlement Class Member who submits a timely and Valid Claim Form shall receive one pro rata share of the Settlement Fund, for each facsimile number in the Class List, irrespective of the number of faxes received, after payment of the Fee Award awarded by the Court, the Incentive Award awarded by the Court, all Settlement Administration Costs and any other sums awarded by the Court consistent with this Agreement. If a Settlement Class Member entitled to receive $600 or more fails to deliver a signed and completed Form W-9 to the Settlement Administrator, the Settlement Class Member’s payment will be subject to appropriate treatment as required by then-existing rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service. Any Settlement Class Member who does not submit a Valid Claim Form by the Claims Deadline, as shown by postmark or other identifiable date of transmission, shall receive no monetary payment from the Settlement Fund. All Settlement Class Members will be informed that checks containing payments must be cashed within ninety (90) days of issuance or else the check will be void and they will have no further right or entitlement to any payment under the terms of this settlement.

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15. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOTHING AT ALL?

Answer:

If you do nothing, you will be bound by any judgment entered by the Court, and you will release your claims about Smith Faxes, as set forth in the Settlement Agreement, but you will receive no payment unless you submit a Claim Form.

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16.  WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE COURT DECIDE WHETHER TO APPROVE THE SETTLEMENT?

Answer:

The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing on December 10, 2020, at 11:00 a.m., in Room 13 in the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse, 801 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602.  The purpose of the hearing will be for the Court to determine whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class; to consider the Settlement Class Counsel’s request for Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses; and to consider the request for an Incentive Award to the Settlement Class Representatives.  At that hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement.


The hearing may be postponed to a different date or time, so it is a good idea to check this Website or call 1-844-491-5743 to confirm the date and time of the hearing.  If, however, you timely objected to the Settlement and advised the Court that you intend to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you will receive notice of any change in the date and/or time of such Final Approval Hearing.

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17. DO I HAVE TO COME TO THE HEARING?

Answer:

No.  Settlement Class Counsel  will answer questions the Court may have at the Final Approval Hearing.  But, you are welcome to come at your own expense.  If you send an objection or comment, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it.  As long as you filed and mailed your written objection or comment on time, the Court will consider it.  You may also pay another lawyer to attend, but it’s not required.

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18. MAY I SPEAK AT THE HEARING?

Answer:

Yes.  You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing to determine the Settlement’s fairness. To do so, you must include in your letter or brief objecting to the Settlement a statement saying that it is your “Notice of Intent to Appear in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, 801 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602."  It must include your name, address, telephone number and signature as well as the name and address of your lawyer, if one is appearing for you.  Your objection and notice of intent to appear must be filed with the Court and postmarked no later than October 19, 2020 and be sent to the addresses listed in FAQ#7.

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19. DO I HAVE A LAWYER IN THE CASE?

Answer:

The Court has appointed Bock, Hatch, Lewis & Oppenheim, LLC law firm attorneys representing the Settlement Class. They are called “Settlement Class Counsel.”  They believe, after conducting an extensive investigation, that the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class.  You will not be charged for any time you spend talking with these lawyers.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.

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20. HOW WILL THE LAWYERS BE PAID?

Answer:

Under the Settlement Agreement, any Attorneys’ Fees awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.

Settlement Class Counsel will file their motion for Attorney’s Fees, Costs and Incentive Awards to the Settlement Class Representatives no later than October 4, 2020 and a copy of the motion will be available on this Website in the “Documents” section. 

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21. WHERE DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?

Answer:

The Notice summarizes the Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement and throughout this Website.  You may also write via mail with questions to Pressman v. Smith Medical Partners, LLC c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 8796 Philadelphia, PA 19101-8796. You can also call the Settlement Administrator 1-844-491-5743. Before doing so, however, please read the full Notice carefully.  You may also find additional information throughout this Website.

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This website is authorized by the Court, supervised by counsel and controlled by, the Settlement Administrator approved by the Court. This is the only authorized website for this case.

For more information please call 1-844-491-5743

Documents

Please read for a full explanation of the settlement and your options and all applicable timelines.

Contact

Contact us with any inquiries, comments, and/or requests.

Submit Claim

Click here to safely and securely submit a Claim Form.

Important Dates

  • Exclusion Deadline

    Monday, October 19, 2020
    You must mail your request for exclusion so that it is postmarked no later than Monday, October 19, 2020.
  • Objection Deadline

    Monday, October 19, 2020
    You must mail your objection and/or notice of intent to appear at the Final Approval Hearing so that it/they are postmarked no later than Monday, October 19, 2020.
  • Claim Form Deadline

    Monday, November 16, 2020
    You must submit your Claim Form online no later than Monday, November 16, 2020, or mail your completed paper Claim Form so that it is postmarked no later than Monday, November 16, 2020.
  • Final Approval Hearing Date

    Thursday, December 10, 2020
    The Final Approval Hearing is scheduled for Thursday, December 10, 2020. Please check this website for updates.

Important Documents

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