In Kalkstein v. Collecto, Inc., — F.R.D. —-, 2015 WL 59246 (E.D.N.Y. 2015), Judge Spatt found that the fact that a putative class member would receive less in a class settlement than if the class member sued individually did not defeat class certification.
The superiority element of Rule 23(b)(3) requires the court to examine whether a class action is superior to other methods of adjudication. . . “[C]lass treatment is often deemed superior in ‘negative value’ cases, in which ‘each individual class mem-ber’s interest in the litigation is less than the anticipated cost of litigating individually.’ “ In re Advanced Battery Technologies, Inc. Sec. Litig., 298 F.R.D. 171, 182 (S.D.N.Y.2014) (citing Menkes, 270 F.R.D. at 100)). The Court finds the instant case to be analogous to a “negative value case” in that the likely amount of individ-ual recovery appears to be slight when compared with the costs required to bring an individual case. Annunziato, 293 F.R.D. at 340 (“[T]he amount of each class members individual claims is very small so it is not likely that any of them would have a specific interest in individually con-trolling the prosecution of the action.”); see also In re Sinus Buster Products Consumer Litig., 2014 WL 5819921 at *6 (“The instant case presents the classic ‘negative value’ case because there are thousands of potential plaintiffs and each individual plaintiff’s claims is worth a small amount-at most what they paid for a Sinus Buster product, which were sold at retail for around ‘five dollars.’ ”). Moreover, the class device would provide the most efficient method of adjudicating the class members’ claims because, as described above, the resolution of the class members’ claims depends on a common question—whether the Defendant’s letters purporting to collect a debt owed by them to N.Y. Tech violated the FDCPA. See In re Sinus Buster Products Consumer Litig., 2014 WL 5819921 at *6 (“Therefore, the class action device will prevent inefficient and inconsistent outcomes associ-ated with multiple litigations involving the same set of facts.”); Sharf, 295 F.R.D. at 671 (“When common issues predominate over individual issues, a class action lawsuit is an appropriate vehicle for adjudicating the plaintiffs’ claims…. Here, the proposed class members’ claims are predicated on a common set of facts and concern the same allegedly deceptive practices.”). In response, the Defendant argues that the class action device is not superior to individual actions because individual plaintiffs may be eligible to recover greater damages than permitted under a class action. In particular, the Defendant states that an individual can bring an action under the FDCPA for statutory damages, which are capped at $1,000, and “actual damage[s],” which are not capped. 15 U.S.C.A. § 1692k (West). On the other hand, in a class action, the class’s total recovery cannot “exceed the lesser of $500,000 or 1 per centum of the net worth of the debt collector.” On the record before it, the Court cannot con-clude that each individual class member would recover more if they proceeded individually than if they proceed-ed as a class. Indeed, the Defendant does not specify what its net worth is, nor is it clear that any individual class member suffered actual damages greater than the $1,000 statutory maximum. In any event, this Court has certified a class action notwithstanding the possibility of higher individual recoveries because of the transaction costs in-volved in bringing an FDCPA action on an individual basis. See Kalish v. Karp & Kalamotousakis, LLP, 246 F.R.D. 461, 464 (S.D.N.Y.2007) (“In the FDCPA con-text, while the potential for higher individual recoveries exists, realizing that potential requires assuming that each putative class member is ‘aware of her rights, willing to subject herself to all the burdens of suing and able to find an attorney willing to take her case.’ Those transaction costs are not insubstantial and have prompted other courts in this Circuit to conclude that litigating as a class is supe-rior to litigating individual FDCPA claims.” (quoting Mace v. Van Ru Credit Corp., 109 F.3d 338, 344 (7th Cir.1997)); see also Weber v. Goodman, 9 F.Supp.2d 163, 170 (E.D.N.Y.1998) (“The small damage awards availa-ble to individual plaintiffs under the FDCPA are a likely factor in the lack of individual lawsuits. Therefore, this case appears to fit easily within the above described and accepted category of cases in which a class action is the superior method of adjudicating the controversy.”), opinion modified on reconsideration on other grounds, No. CV–97–1376 (CPS), 1998 WL 1807355 (E.D.N.Y. June 1, 1998). Therefore, the Court concludes that the superiority requirement is satisfied.