In Ikuseghan v. Multicare Health System, 2016 WL 4363198, at *2 (W.D.Wash., 2016), Judge Settle surveyed TCPA class action settlements and found that 30% of the recovery was a proper benchmark for awarding attorneys fees in a TCPA class action.
Here, the requested attorneys’ fees represent 33% of the settlement fund. Ikuseghan argues district courts frequently grant fee awards of 33% in TCPA class actions. Dkt. 75 at 3. To support this argument, Ikuseghan points to data from seventy-three TCPA class action settlements compiled by class counsel pursuant to Judge Holderman’s order in Wilkins v. HSBC Bank Nev., N.A., 1:14-cv-0190-JFH, Dkt. 94 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 21, 2014). Judge Holderman analyzed the Wilkins data in another TCPA class action, In re Capital One Telephone Consumer Protection Act Litig., 80 F. Supp. 3d 781 (N.D. Ill. 2015). In doing so, Judge Holderman determined the base rate for attorneys’ fees in a typical TCPA class action is 30% for the first $10 million recovered. Id. at 804. This Court has also reviewed the Wilkins data specific to the Ninth Circuit, which comprises twenty-five cases. See Wilkins, 1:14-cv-0190-JFH, Dkt. 109-1 at 49–74. By the Court’s calculation, in the Ninth Circuit cases with recoveries of $10 million or less, the median rate for attorneys’ fees is 25% and the mean rate is 26.8%. See Appendix A (collecting cases). These rates correspond with the benchmark rate in this Circuit. Under the circumstances of this case, the Court finds that 30% of the settlement fund represents a fair and reasonable fee award. As the Court noted during the final settlement hearing, class counsel obtained an extraordinarily good result for the class following an arm’s-length negotiation. Under the approved settlement, class members will receive as much as they would have received had they successfully litigated their claims under the TCPA. See 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(3) (providing $500 in statutory damages for each violation, and up to treble damages for willful violations). This recovery is significantly superior to other TCPA class action settlements that have been approved in this Circuit and justifies an upward departure from the 25% benchmark rate. See, e.g., Rose v. Bank of Am. Corp., No. 5:11-CV-02390-EJD, 2014 WL 4273358, at *10 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 29, 2014) ($20 to $40 per claimant); Arthur v. Sallie Mae, Inc., No. 10-cv-00198-JLR, 2012 4075238, at *1 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 17, 2012) (over $100 per claimant); Grannan v. Alliant Law Grp., P.C., No. 5:10-cv-02803-HRL, 2012 WL 216522, at *7 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 24, 2012) ($300–$325 per claimant). At the same time, in the Court’s experience, TCPA cases are more straightforward and less factually intensive than products liability or other class actions. Moreover, as explained by Judge Holderman, the base rate for attorneys’ fees in a typical TCPA class action is 30% for the first $10 million recovered. See In re Capital One, 80 F. Supp. 3d at 804. Given these factors, the Court awards class counsel $750,000 in attorneys’ fees, which represents 30% of the settlement fund.