Dos Santos v. BioCollections World-Wide, Inc.,
Case No. 2020-011216-CA-01
- A Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit about whether BioCollections Worldwide, Inc. (“BioCollections”) sent text messages to cellular telephone numbers without prior express written consent of the recipients as defined by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (“TCPA”). BioCollections denies the allegations and any wrongdoing. The Court has not decided who is right.
- The Settlement offers payments to Settlement Class Members who file valid Claims.
- Your legal rights are affected whether you act or do not act. Read this Notice carefully.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT:
Submit a Claim Form
If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you must submit a completed Claim Form here to receive a payment. If the Court approves the Settlement and it becomes final and effective, and you remain in the Settlement Class, you will receive your payment by check.
You may request to be excluded from the Settlement and, if you do, you will receive no benefits from the Settlement.
Write to the Court if you do not like the Settlement.
Go to a Hearing
Ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the Settlement.
You will not receive a payment if you fail to timely submit a completed Claim Form, and you will give up your right to bring your own lawsuit against BioCollections about the Claims in this case.
- These rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained in this website.
- The Court in charge of this case still has to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If it does, and after any appeals are resolved, benefits will be distributed to those who submit qualifying Claim Forms. Please be patient.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of the class action lawsuit known as Dos Santos v. BioCollections World-Wide, Inc., Case No. 2020-011216-CA-01 and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give Final Approval to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.
Judge Alan Fine of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit In And For Miami-Dade County, Florida is overseeing this case. The person who sued, Catia Dos Santos, is called the “Plaintiff.” BioCollections Worldwide, Inc. is called the “Defendant” or “BioCollections.”
The lawsuit alleges that BioCollections sent text messages to Plaintiff’s wireless telephone number without prior express written consent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, and seeks actual and statutory damages under the TCPA on behalf of the named Plaintiff and a class of all individuals in the United States.
BioCollections denies each and every allegation of wrongdoing, liability, and damages that were or could have been asserted in the litigation and that the claims in the litigation would be appropriate for class treatment if the litigation were to proceed through trial.
The Plaintiff’s Complaint, Settlement Agreement, and other case-related documents are posted in the documents section of this website. The Settlement resolves the lawsuit. The Court has not decided who is right.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (commonly referred to as the “TCPA”) is a federal law that restricts telephone solicitations and the use of automated telephone equipment without prior express consent.
In a class action, one person called the “Class Representative” (in this case, Plaintiff Catia Dos Santos) sues on behalf of herself and other people with similar claims.
All of the people who have claims similar to the Plaintiff’s are Settlement Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class, among others.
The Court has not found in favor of either Plaintiff or BioCollections. Instead, both sides have agreed to a settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and if the Settlement is approved by the Court, Settlement Class Claimants will receive the benefits described in the Notice. BioCollections denies all legal claims in this case. Plaintiff and her lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.
The Settlement includes all persons who received a text message on their cell phone from BioCollections. Specifically, the Settlement Class is defined as:
All individuals within the United States (i) who were sent a marketing text message during the relevant class period (ii) on his or her cellular telephone (iii) by or on behalf of Defendant.
Persons meeting this definition are referred to collectively as the “Settlement Class” and, individually, as “Settlement Class Members.”
The Settlement Class excludes the following: (1) the trial judge presiding over this case; (2) Defendant, as well as any parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or control person of Defendant, and the officers, directors, agents, servants, or employees of Defendant; (3) any of the Released Parties; (4) the immediate family of any such person(s); (5) any Settlement Class Member who has timely opted out of this proceeding; and (6) Plaintiff’s Counsel, their employees, and their immediate family.
If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class or have any other questions about the Settlement, call the toll-free number 833-594-1994. You also may send questions to the BioCollections Settlement Administrator, c/o Settlement Services, Inc. Post Office Box 10269, Tallahassee, FL 32302-2269
To fully settle and release claims of the Settlement Class Members, BioCollections has agreed to make payments to the Settlement Class Members and pay for notice and administration costs of the Settlement, attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred by counsel for the Settlement Class, and a service award for Plaintiff (the “Settlement Fund”). Each Settlement Class Member who submits a timely, valid, correct and verified Claim Form by the Claim Deadline in the manner required by this Agreement, making all the required affirmations and representations, shall be sent a Claim Settlement Check by the Administrator in the amount of $35.00. Class Claimants will be sent their Claim Settlement Payments to the address they submitted on their Claim Form within 60 days following the Effective Date.
If you qualify for a payment, you must complete and submit a valid Claim Form. You may submit a Claim Form here or download and print a Claim Form in the Documents section of this website. To be valid, a Claim Form must be completed fully and accurately and submitted timely.
You must submit a Claim Form by U.S. mail or through the Settlement Website, and it must be postmarked by October 19, 2021.
Please read the Claim Form carefully and provide all the information required. Only one Claim Form may be submitted per Settlement Class Member.
Payments in the form of a check will be made only after the Court grants Final Approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved (see “FAQ #19”). If there are appeals, resolving them can take time. Please be patient.
EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT
If you do not want benefits from the Settlement, and you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue BioCollections on your own about the legal issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called excluding yourself—or it is sometimes referred to as “opting out” of the Settlement Class.
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a timely letter by mail to:
BioCollections Settlement Administrator
c/o Settlement Services, Inc.
Post Office Box 10269
Tallahassee, FL 32302-2269
Your request to be excluded from the Settlement must be personally signed by you under penalty of perjury and contain a statement that indicates your desire to be “excluded from the Settlement Class” and that, absent of excluding yourself or “opting out,” you are “otherwise a member of the Settlement Class.”
Your exclusion request must be postmarked no later than September 3, 2021. You cannot ask to be excluded on the phone, by email, or at this Website.
You may opt out of the Settlement Class only for yourself.
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue BioCollections for the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement Class in order to pursue your own lawsuit.
Unless you opt out of the Settlement, you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against BioCollections about the issues in this case, including any existing litigation, arbitration, or proceeding. Unless you exclude yourself, all of the decisions and judgments by the Court will bind you.
The Settlement Agreement is available in the documents section of this website. The Settlement Agreement provides more detail regarding the Releases and describes the Released Claims with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate legal terminology, so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firms representing the Settlement Class listed in Question 15 at no charge to you, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the Released Claims or what they mean.
No. You will not get a payment from the Settlement Fund if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.
The Court has appointed the following lawyers as “Class Counsel” to represent all members of the Settlement Class.
Scott Edelsberg, Esq.
Edelsberg Law, PA
20900 NE 30th Ave, #417
Aventura, FL 33180
Andrew J. Shamis, Esq.
Garrett O. Berg, Esq.
Shamis & Gentile, P.A.
14 NE 1st Avenue, Suite 705
Miami, FL 33132
Manuel S. Hiraldo, Esq.
401 E. Las Olas Boulevard, Suite 1400
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33301
You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.
Class Counsel intend to request $120,583.75 for attorneys’ fees which will include reimbursement of reasonable, actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the litigation. The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund. The Court will decide the amount of fees and expenses to award.
Class Counsel will also request that a Service Award of $2,000.00 for the Plaintiff be paid from the Settlement Fund for her service as Class Representative on behalf of the whole Settlement Class.
OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT
If you are a Settlement Class Member (and do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class), you can object to any part of the Settlement. To object, you must timely submit a letter that includes the following:
1) A heading that includes the case name and case number— Dos Santos v. BioCollections World-Wide, Inc., Case No. 2020-011216-CA-01;
2) Your name, address, telephone number, the cell phone number at which you received text messages from BioCollections and if represented by counsel, the name, bar number, address, and telephone number of your counsel;
3) A signed statement stating, under penalty of perjury, that you received one or more text message from BioCollections and are a member of the Settlement Class;
4) A statement of all your objections to the Settlement including your legal and factual basis for each objection;
5) A statement of whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either with or without counsel, and if with counsel, the name of your counsel who will attend;
6) The number of times in which your counsel and/or counsel’s law firm have objected to a class action settlement within the five years preceding the date that you file the objection, the caption of each case in which counsel or the firm has made such objection, and a copy of any orders related to or ruling upon counsel’s or the firm’s prior objections that were issued by the trial and appellate courts in each listed case;
7) A list of all persons who will be called to testify at the Final Approval Hearing in support of the objection; and
8) Any and all agreements that relate to the objection or the process of objecting—whether written or verbal—between you or your counsel and any other person or entity.
If you wish to object, you must file your objection with the Court (using the Court’s electronic filing system or in any manner in which the Court accepts filings) and mail your objection to each of the following three (3) addresses, and your objection must be postmarked by September 3, 2021.
Clerk of the Court
Eleventh Judicial Circuit
Miami-Dade County, Florida
175 NW 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33128
Scott Edelsberg, Esq.
Edelsberg Law, PA
20900 NE 30th Ave
Aventura, FL 33180
Paul A. Basile
Kassebaum And Basile, PA
150 West Flagler Street
Miami Florida 33130
Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.
THE FINAL APPROVAL HEARING
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement and any requests for fees and expenses (“Final Approval Hearing”).
The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing on October 4, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check this website for updates. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will also consider the requests by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and for Service Award to the Class Representative. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at that time. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. It is unknown how long these decisions will take.
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, your timely filed objection must include a statement of whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing (see Question 17).
You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.
If you are a Settlement Class member and do nothing, meaning you do not file a timely Claim, you will not get benefits from the Settlement. Further, unless you exclude yourself, you will be bound by the judgment entered by the Court.
The information here summarizes the proposed Settlement. You are urged to review more details in the Settlement Agreement. For a complete, definitive statement of the Settlement terms, refer to the Settlement Agreement in the documents section of this website. You also may write with questions to the Settlement Administrator at BioCollections Settlement Administrator, c/o Settlement Services, Inc. Post Office Box 10269, Tallahassee, FL 32302-2269 or call the toll-free number, 833-594-1994.
The deadline to submit a Claim Form was October 19, 2021 and has now passed.