The company’s service agreement bars the customers from assigning their claims to third party CrowdSuit LLC to resolve them on a collective basis, Judge Francis J. Connolly of the Minnesota Court of Appeals wrote in an unpublished opinion.
CrowdSuit sues cell phone companies on behalf of customers who are barred from bringing collective action against the companies by the class action waivers in their customer service agreements.
Customers assign their claims against the companies to CrowdSuit, which donates half of any money it receives in court to charities picked by the customers.
Here, seven AT&T customers assigned their claims to CrowdSuit to challenge the company’s practice of limiting data speed on plans with unlimited data.
AT&T moved to dismiss arguing CrowdSuit’s case was barred by the ban on aggregate litigation in its customer agreement.
The district court denied the motion, but the appeals court reversed.
“Nothing in the wireless customer agreement indicates that the parties to it intended disputes to be resolved collectively, or by third parties, or both,” the court said.
Judges Heidi S. Schellhas and Peter M. Reyes Jr. joined the opinion.
Robins Kaplan LLP represented CrowdSuit.
Ballard Spahr LLP and Mayer Brown LLP represented AT&T.
The case is CrowdSuit, LLC v. AT & T Mobility, LLC, 2018 BL 476420, Minn. Ct. App., No. A17-1733, 12/24/18.