Tech & Telecom Law News

Supreme Court Won’t Hear ZocDoc Junk-Fax Class Action (1)

April 22, 2019, 2:29 PMUpdated: April 22, 2019, 4:19 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear a dispute over whether an online medical care booking service’s deposit of funds to pay the plaintiff in a junk-fax class action ends the case.

The high court April 22 denied a petition by ZocDoc Inc. to review a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that depositing $20,000 with a lower court in an attempt to settle claims by the named plaintiff didn’t moot the case. Plaintiff Radha Geismann had alleged that ZocDoc sent two unsolicited faxes in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The justices declined the chance to clarify whether a class action plaintiff can proceed with claims even though the defendant has satisfied the claims through complete monetary relief.

ZocDoc initially offered to settle the claims for $6,100, but Geismann rejected the offer. The district court dismissed the suit because the offer satisfied Geismann’s claims.

The Second Circuit, in reversing the ruling, said that unaccepted offers can’t keep a class action from proceeding. ZocDoc then deposited $20,000 with the district court, which again dismissed the suit as moot.

The Second Circuit once again reversed. It held that the lower court couldn’t dismiss the suit until it resolved a pending motion for class certification.

Vedder Price PC, counsel for ZocDoc, didn’t immediately respond to a Bloomberg Law request for comment. Anderson + Wanca represented Geismann.

The case is ZocDoc Inc. v. Geismann, U.S., No. 18-1125, petition for review denied 4/22/19.

(Updated with additional reporting throughout)

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Kramer in Washington at akramer@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Baker at rbaker@bloomberglaw.com; Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com

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