Last Day To “Opt-Out” Of The Class — March 9, 2020
Last Day To Object To The Settlement — March 9, 2020
Final Approval Hearing — April 29, 2020
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the State of Washington, the Final Approval Hearing of the Settlement, the Motion for Attorney Fees, and the Motion for Service Fee Award, currently set for April 29, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. PT, will take place by telephone.
Class Member Call in Number: 1-888-363-4749
Access Code: 4939688 #
The COURT has ORDERED that Persons on the phone MUST MUTE THEIR PHONES and NO RECORDING OR REBROADCASTING IS PERMITTED.
Please dial in 5 minutes prior to the start time of the hearing.
Any class member who calls the provided telephone number and joins the conference call will be muted, and thus unable to make a statement during the hearing unless prior arrangements are made.
Any class member who would like to speak to the Court during the telephonic hearing must contact Courtroom Deputy Penny Lamb no later than Monday, April 27, 2020, at (509) 458-5263. Ms. Lamb will provide a separate telephone number to class members who want to speak at the hearing.
Summary of the Lawsuit
The lawsuit alleges that the Swapp Law Firm violated the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (“DPPA”) by purchasing traffic accident reports populated by motor vehicle records containing the protected personal information of the Plaintiff and the Class and misusing the personal information to send marketing materials to the Plaintiff and the Class.
Summary of the Claims
This lawsuit claims that Defendants the Swapp Law Firm (aka Craig Swapp & Associates) and Craig Swapp obtained the protected personal information of the Plaintiff and the Class without written consent to advertise their services. Defendants purchased over 10,000 accident reports from the Washington State Patrol. These accident reports were created using personal information from the motor vehicle records of the Washington Department of Motor Vehicles. After buying the accident reports at a price of $9.50 to $10.50 per report, Defendants used the protected personal information to mail advertisements of their services to motorists, the Plaintiff and the Class, who had been in motor vehicle accidents. Defendants had obtained the personal information without the explicit consent of the Plaintiff of the Class, which is a violation of the DPPA.
Class Action Allegations
This lawsuit is brought on behalf of the following persons:
All drivers identified in traffic collision reports whose Personal Information, as defined by the DPPA, was obtained by the Swapp Law Firm (d/b/a Craig Swapp & Associates) or Mr. Swapp from the Washington State Patrol between September 1, 2013 and June 23, 2017.
Excluded from the Class are (a) any individuals who are current or former clients of the Swapp Firm or Mr. Swapp, (b) any individuals who provided written consent to Defendants for the disclosure of their Personal Information (as defined by the DPPA) prior to Defendants obtaining their personal information, (c) employees of the Swapp Law Firm (including any attorneys) or of Mr. Swapp as well as any of the members of their immediate families, and (d) the Judge to whom this action is assigned as well as person working in the Judge’s chambers and the members of their families.
Status of the Litigation
The Class Action Complaint was filed on August 9, 2017. Defendants file a motion to dismiss on October 20, 2017 which the Court denied on December 21, 2107. Defendants filed their Answer to the Complaint on January 4, 2018 and then filed an Amended Answer on January 23, 2018. Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Class Certification on August 7, 2018, which the Court granted on January 25, 2019. The Court has stayed the case and referred the parties to Judge Lonny R. Suko for mediation, which was set for May 23, 2019. Mediation resulted in the parties reaching a verbal agreement of settlement.
After the mediation, a formal written settlement was signed on October 25, 2019. On October 25, 2019, Plaintiff filed an Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement, which the Court approved on November 27, 2019.
Class Counsel filed a Motion for Attorneys' Fees & Litigation Expenses on February 24, 2020.
Plaintiff's Motion for Final Approval was filed on March 30, 2020. A hearing on Final Approval of Class Action Settlement is currently scheduled for April 29, 2020.
For additional information about the settlement, please visit www.SwappSettlement.com
Whom to Contact for More Information
For information about whether you were identified as a member of the Settlement Class, or other information about the settlement, please contact the Settlement Administrator (hired by Class Counsel and appointed by the Court) by email at Info@SwappSettlement.com or by phone at 1-833-513-0212.
If you are a member of the proposed class or you have information which might assist us in the prosecution of these allegations, please contact one of the following persons:
Block & Leviton is co-counsel in this litigation with the Law Office of Thomas G. Jarrard, PLLC and Sweetser Law Office.