Roberts v. AT&T

Case No. 3:15-cv-03418-EMC

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Information about the Lawsuit and Class

  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit concerns AT&T customers in California who purchased AT&T unlimited wireless data plans. Plaintiffs alleged, generally, that AT&T advertised wireless data plans as providing unlimited wireless data, but applied undisclosed or inadequately disclosed limitations on the data service for such plans, after which the customers’ data usage is subjected to throttling or suspension. Plaintiffs Marcus A. Roberts, Kenneth A. Chewey, and Ashley M. Chewey filed a class action lawsuit against AT&T about these issues. The complaint in this case is available on the Important Documents page. AT&T denies that it did anything wrong.

    Plaintiffs and AT&T have now agreed to a settlement to resolve this lawsuit, as described below. The Court has not decided whether Plaintiffs or AT&T are correct. By agreeing to the settlement, neither AT&T nor Plaintiffs make any admissions regarding the merits of the allegations, claims, or defenses in this case.

    The United States District Court for the Northern District of California is overseeing this lawsuit. The lawsuit is known as Roberts v. AT&T, Case No. 3:15-cv-03418-EMC.

  3. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims. All of these people together make up the Settlement Class and are Settlement Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.

  4. Who is in the Settlement Class?

    The “Settlement Class” in this case is defined as:

    All consumers residing in California (based on the accountholder’s last known billing address) who purchased an unlimited data plan from AT&T Mobility LLC and who, on or before March 31, 2021, exceeded AT&T’s applicable data usage threshold for any user on the account for one or more monthly billing cycles such that the user would have been eligible for data usage slowing or deprioritization by AT&T in those billing cycles under AT&T’s network management policies. Excluded from the Settlement Class are any Judge presiding over this Action, any members of their families, and AT&T and affiliated entities and their respective officers and directors.

    If you received a notice of this settlement by mail, email, or text message, AT&T’s records indicate that you are in the Settlement Class.

    People in the Settlement Class are called “Settlement Class Members.”

  5. Information about the Settlement and About Filing a Claim for a Payment

  6. What are the terms of the proposed settlement?

    The complete terms of the proposed settlement are set forth in the Settlement Agreement. The notice provides only a summary of the terms of the settlement. The settlement benefits and other terms are summarized below.

  7. What are the benefits of the proposed settlement?

    If the settlement is approved and becomes final, AT&T will pay twelve million dollars ($12,000,000.00) into a Settlement Fund. This money will be used to: (1) make settlement payments to Settlement Class Members, as described at Questions 6-9 below; (2) pay the costs of distributing notice and settlement payment checks to Settlement Class Members and other costs of administering the settlement; and (3) pay court-awarded attorneys’ fees and expenses of the attorneys appointed by the Court to represent the Class (“Settlement Class Counsel”) and any service awards granted to the Plaintiffs.

  8. How do I get a payment?

    You may need to file a claim by AUGUST 13, 2021, to receive a payment or to receive the full payment amount you are eligible for. Whether you need to file a claim depends on your Personal ID #. You can find your Personal ID # on the notice you received:

    See sample illustration of Personal ID and PIN# location from Postcard or Email Notification.

    • If your Personal ID # starts with “B” you must file a claim to get a payment.
    • If your Personal ID # starts with “C” you must file a claim to get the full payment you are eligible for. If you do not file a claim, you will get a smaller payment.
    • If your Personal ID # starts with “A” you do not need to file a claim to get the full payment you are eligible for.

    If you did not receive an email or postcard notice or you no longer have the notice, or you are unsure whether you need to file a claim, you can file a claim without entering a Personal ID # and the Settlement Administrator will verify your claim, or you can email the Settlement Administrator at: Info@ATTUnlimitedDataSettlement.com to get your Personal ID.

  9. How do I file a claim for a payment?

    File Online: To file a claim online, use the File a Claim page.

    File By Mail: If you prefer, you can also print a paper claim form. Fill it out, and mail it to the address listed on the form or, if you received notice of this settlement by mail you can fill out the claim form that is attached to that notice, fill it out, and mail it to the address listed on the form.

    The deadline to file a claim online or by mail is AUGUST 13, 2021. The Settlement Administrator will review all claims and determine eligibility.

  10. How much will the payments be?

    The settlement payment amounts will be broken down by the two Groups. There will be a Group A payment amount and a Group B payment amount. The payment amounts for each Group will depend on multiple factors including how many valid claims are filed. It is currently estimated that the Group A payment amount will be approximately $10.00 and the Group B payment amount will be approximately $13.00, but the actual amounts may be higher or lower.

    If your account is in Group A only (your Personal ID # starts with “A”) you will get the Group A payment amount (currently estimated to be $10.00) if the settlement is approved and becomes final.

    If your account is in Group B only (your Personal ID # starts with “B”) and you file a claim by AUGUST 13, 2021, you will get the Group B payment amount (currently estimated to be $13.00) if the settlement is approved and becomes final. If you do not file a claim by AUGUST 13, 2021, you will not get a payment.

    If your account is in both Groups (your Personal ID # starts with “C”) and you file a claim by AUGUST 13, 2021, you will get both the Group A and Group B payment amounts (currently estimated to be $23.00, total) if the settlement is approved and becomes final. If you do not file a claim by AUGUST 13, 2021, you will only get the Group A payment amount (currently estimated to be $10.00).

    For more information, read the Settlement Agreement or see Question 10 regarding how the payment Groups were determined.

    Some Settlement Class Members previously received payments, in 2020, related to data slowing for their AT&T unlimited plans, as part of a related case called Federal Trade Commission v. AT&T Mobility LLC, N.D. Cal. Case No. 14‐cv‐04785‐EMC. Payments from that case will not affect your eligibility for a settlement payment, or your settlement payment amount, from this class action settlement. In other words, you can get a payment from this settlement even if you received a payment from the other case.

  11. How and when will payments be sent?

    Settlement payments will be issued to eligible Settlement Class Member accounts, after the settlement is approved and becomes final, by account credit (for current AT&T customers) or mailed check (for former AT&T customers).

    For any settlement payment checks that are uncashed or deemed undeliverable by the Settlement Administrator, those amounts will be treated as unclaimed property of the corresponding Settlement Class Member, subject to applicable state unclaimed property procedures (the additional administrative costs of such unclaimed property process will be deducted from the unclaimed property amounts on a pro rata basis).

  12. How were the payment Groups determined?

    The payment Groups were determined based on when each Settlement Class Member account exceeded AT&T’s data usage threshold, according to AT&T’s records. Specifically:

    Settlement Class Member accounts where, according to AT&T’s records, one or more user on the account exceeded AT&T’s applicable data usage threshold for one or more monthly billing cycles prior to AT&T’s adoption of “congestion aware throttling” on June 25, 2014 (for UMTS users) or May 6, 2015 (for LTE users) are “Group A” Accounts.

    Settlement Class Member accounts where, according to AT&T’s records, one or more user on the account exceeded AT&T’s applicable data usage threshold for one or more monthly billing cycles after AT&T’s adoption of “congestion aware throttling” on June 25, 2014 (for UMTS users) or May 6, 2015 (for LTE users) are “Group B” Accounts.

    Settlement Class Member accounts that exceeded AT&T’s data usage threshold during both time periods are in both “Group A” and “Group B”.

  13. Your other rights and options

  14. What happens if I do nothing?

    By doing nothing, you are staying in the Settlement Class but you may not receive any payment or the full payment you are eligible for.

    If your Personal ID # starts with “B” and you do nothing, you will not receive any settlement payment. You must file a claim by AUGUST 13, 2021, to receive a payment.

    If your Personal ID # starts with “C” and you do nothing, you will not receive the full payment amount you are eligible for, and will only receive a smaller payment if the settlement is approved and becomes final. You must file a claim by AUGUST 13, 2021, to receive the full payment you are eligible for.

    If your Personal ID # starts with “A” and you do nothing, you will be issued a payment automatically if the settlement is approved and becomes final.

    See Question 6 for how to find your Personal ID #. No matter what your Personal ID # is, if you do nothing you will give up any right to sue AT&T about the issues in this lawsuit. You will also be legally bound by all of the orders that the Court issues and judgments the Court makes in this class action.

  15. How do I exclude myself (opt out) from the Settlement Class?

    To exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you must mail or email a request for exclusion to: AT&T UNLIMITED DATA SETTLEMENT, ATTN: EXCLUSION REQUESTS, 1650 ARCH STREET, SUITE 2210, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103, OR INFO@ATTUNLIMITEDDATASETTLEMENT.COM

    To be effective, your request for exclusion must be postmarked or emailed no later than JULY 14, 2021, and must include the following information:

    1. your full name, telephone number, mailing address, and email address;
    2. a clear statement that you wish to be excluded from the Settlement Class;
    3. the name of this lawsuit: “Roberts v. AT&T Mobility, LLC”; and
    4. for requests for exclusion sent by mail, your signature or the signature of an individual authorized to act on your behalf. No signature is required for emailed requests for exclusion.

    Requests for exclusion must be specific to individual Settlement Class Members, and Settlement Class Members cannot request exclusion as a class or group. Any request for exclusion from a Settlement Class Member that is a co-accountholder on an account in the Settlement Class must be signed by all co-accountholders on that account, otherwise the request for exclusion is invalid for that account.

  16. How do I object or comment?

    If you are a Settlement Class Member, and have not excluded yourself from the Settlement Class, you can comment on or object to the settlement, Settlement Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses, and/or the request for service awards for the Plaintiffs who brought this lawsuit. To object or comment, you must send a written objection/comment including the following:

    1. the name of this lawsuit: “Roberts v. AT&T Mobility LLC”;
    2. your full name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address;
    3. your signature or the signature of an individual authorized to act on your behalf;
    4. a description of the specific reasons for your objection;
    5. the name, address, bar number and telephone number of your attorney if you are represented by an attorney; and
    6. a statement about whether or not you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing either in person or through an attorney.

    To be considered by the Court, your comment or objection must be filed or mailed to the Clerk of Court, and mailed to the Settlement Administrator, filed/postmarked no later than JULY 14, 2021, at the following addresses:

    THE COURT SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR
    Office of the Clerk
    USDC for the Northern District of California
    450 Golden Gate Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94102-3489
    AT&T Unlimited Data Settlement
    Attn: Objections
    1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    Note that you can ask the Court to deny approval of the settlement by filing an objection, but you can’t ask the Court to order a different settlement; the Court can only approve or reject the settlement. If the Court denies approval, no settlement payments will be sent out and the lawsuit will continue. If that is what you want to happen, you must object. You have the right to consult with your own attorney, at your own expense, before deciding how best to proceed.

  17. What claims will be released by this Settlement?

    If you are in the Settlement Class definition and do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, and the settlement is approved and becomes final, the settlement will be legally binding on you and you will be bound by all judgments entered in the case. In exchange for the settlement benefits, you will release all claims against AT&T and its affiliates listed in the Settlement Agreement about the issues in this lawsuit. The Settlement Agreement describes the claims you are releasing (giving up) by staying in the Settlement Class (called “Released Claims”).

  18. Do I have a lawyer in this class action?

    Yes. The Court has appointed the following attorneys and law firms to represent the Settlement Class Members. Together, these lawyers are called “Settlement Class Counsel”:

    Roger N. Heller
    Michael W. Sobol
    Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP
    275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    (800) 546-4021

    Daniel M. Hattis
    HATTIS LAW
    Post Office Box 1645
    Bellevue, Washington 98009-1645
    (650) 980-1990

    John A. Yanchunis
    Jean Sutton Martin
    MORGAN & MORGAN
    201 North Franklin Street
    7th Floor
    Tampa, Florida 33602
    (813) 275-5272

    Alexander H. Schmidt
    Fairways Professional Plaza
    5 Professional Circle, Ste. 204
    Colts Neck, New Jersey 07722
    (732) 226-0004

    D. Anthony Mastando
    Eric J. Artrip
    MASTANDO & ARTRIP, LLC
    301 Washington St., Suite 302
    Huntsville, AL 35801
    (256) 532-2222

    You do not have to pay Settlement Class Counsel for their time or expenses incurred in this case out of your pocket. Instead, Settlement Class Counsel will petition the Court for an award of their fees and expenses; any amount awarded will be paid from the Settlement Fund.

    The Court has also appointed Plaintiffs Marcus A. Roberts, Kenneth A. Chewey, and Ashley M. Chewey as class representative to represent the Settlement Class.

  19. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Settlement Class Counsel (see Question 15) will file a motion on or before May 30, 2021, asking the Court to award them attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses up to a total of $3 million (which is 25% of the $12 million Settlement Fund). The attorneys’ fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be the only payment to Settlement Class Counsel for their efforts in achieving the settlement and for their risk in undertaking this representation on a wholly contingent basis. In addition, Settlement Class Counsel will ask the Court on or before May 30, 2021, to award each of the Plaintiffs representing the Settlement Class a service award of $2,500 to compensate them for their efforts and commitment on behalf of the Settlement Class in this lawsuit.

    The Court will determine the amount of attorneys’ fees, expenses, and service awards to award. Settlement Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees, expenses, and service awards will be available on this website when it is filed.

  20. Should I hire my own lawyer for this case?

    You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Settlement Class Counsel represents you and the other members of the Settlement Class already. However, you have the right to hire your own lawyer. If you want your own lawyer separate from Settlement Class Counsel, you will have to pay that lawyer.

  21. The Court’s Fairness Hearing

  22. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?

    The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 1:30 p.m. on AUGUST 19, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Courtroom 5, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA, 94102. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice and/or may be held remotely or telephonically. Please check this website for updates or changes.

    At the Fairness Hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court will also consider Settlement Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees, expenses, and service awards. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.

  23. Do I have to come to the hearing?

    No. Settlement Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have. But, you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you submit an objection, you do not have to come to the Court to talk about it. So long as you submitted your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.

  24. May I speak at the hearing?

    You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class.

  25. Getting more information

  26. Where can I get more information?

    More information can be found here including important case deadlines, links to case documents including the full Settlement Agreement and the complaint in this lawsuit, and other information about the lawsuit and the settlement. You can also get more information by calling (833) 789-0702, emailing Info@ATTUnlimitedDataSettlement.com or by calling Settlement Class Counsel at (800) 546-4021.

    You can also get additional information by accessing the Court docket in this case, for a fee, through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov., or by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Ave., 16th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays. Please note, however, that physical access to the office of the Clerk of the Court may be limited or prohibited at times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check the Court’s website, https://www.cand.uscourts.gov, for updates.

    PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT