FAQs


Information about the Lawsuit and Class

The lawsuit concerns AT&T customers in California who purchased post-paid wireless service data plans from AT&T and were charged an Administrative Fee. Plaintiffs alleged, generally, that AT&T’s representations and advertisements regarding the price of its post-paid wireless service plans were misleading because the prices did not include the Administrative Fee, and that AT&T implemented, charged, and increased the Administrative Fee in a deceptive and unfair manner. Plaintiffs Ian Vianu, Elizabeth Blum, and Dominic Gutierrez filed a class action lawsuit against AT&T about these issues. The original and amended Complaints in this case and AT&T’s Answers are available on this website. AT&T has denied and continues to deny that it did anything wrong or that the lawsuit has any merit. AT&T states that it will continue to charge the Administrative Fee and contends that it has the right to increase the Administrative Fee.

Plaintiffs and AT&T have now agreed to a settlement to resolve this lawsuit, as described below. The Court has not decided whether Plaintiffs’ claims and/or AT&T’s defenses are valid. By agreeing to the settlement, neither AT&T nor Plaintiffs make any admissions regarding any liability by AT&T or 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 Vianu v. AT&T Mobility LLC, Case No. 3:19-cv-03602-LB.

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.

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

All consumers residing in California (based on the accountholder’s last known billing address) with a post-paid wireless service plan from AT&T Mobility LLC through a Consumer or Individual Responsibility User (IRU) account and who were charged an Administrative Fee on such account between June 20, 2015 and June 16, 2022.

Excluded from the Settlement Class are any Judge presiding over this Action and any members of their families; AT&T and affiliated entities and individuals and their respective officers and directors; and any otherwise covered consumers, other than Plaintiffs, who assert claims and seek relief in connection with the Administrative Fee and who have provided AT&T with an unresolved written Notice of Dispute (pursuant to AT&T’s contractual dispute resolution procedures) before the Execution Date.

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

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

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

The complete terms of the proposed settlement are set forth in the Settlement Agreement, which is available here. This page provides only a summary of the terms of the settlement. The settlement benefits and other terms are summarized below.

If the settlement is approved and becomes final, AT&T will pay Fourteen Million Dollars ($14,000,000.00) into a Settlement Fund. This money will be used to: (1) make settlement payments to Settlement Class Members, as described at Question 6 through Question 9; (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. As explained below, if you file a claim by the deadline and are eligible for a payment, it is estimated that your settlement payment will be approximately $20.00, but the final amount may be higher or lower.

You need to file a claim by October 29, 2022 to receive a settlement payment.

File Online: To file a claim online, click here.

File By Mail: If you prefer, you can also print a paper claim form, available here, 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 and mail it to the address listed on the form.

The deadline to file a claim online or by mail is October 29, 2022. The Settlement Administrator will review all claims and determine eligibility.

If you file a valid claim by the deadline and are eligible for a payment, it is currently estimated that your settlement payment will be approximately $20.00, but the final amount may be higher or lower. You must submit a claim by the deadline to receive a payment.

Settlement payments will be issued to valid claimants 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).

Your other rights and options

If you do nothing, you will not receive any settlement payment. You must file a claim by October 29, 2022 to receive a payment.

If you do nothing, you will give up any right you may have 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.

To exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you must mail or email a request for exclusion to info@ATTVianuClassActionSettlment.com or AT&T Vianu Class Action Settlement, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

To be effective, your request for exclusion must be postmarked or emailed no later than September 29, 2022, and must include the following information:

(a) your full name, telephone number, mailing address, and email address;

(b) a clear statement that you wish to be excluded from the Settlement Class;

(c) the name of this lawsuit: “Vianu v. AT&T Mobility LLC”; and

(d) 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.

If the person submitting the request for exclusion is doing so on behalf of a Settlement Class Member (such as an attorney or estate), the request must also include the full name of the person submitting the request and the basis of his, her or its authority to act on behalf of the Settlement Class Member.

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.

If you 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 signed, written objection/comment including the following:

(a) the name of this lawsuit: “Vianu v. AT&T Mobility LLC”;

(b) your full name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address;

(c) your signature or the signature of an individual authorized to act on your behalf;

(d) a description of the specific reasons for your objection;

(e) the name, address, bar number and telephone number of your attorney if you are represented by an attorney; and

(f) a statement about whether or not you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing either in person or through an attorney.

To be considered by the Court, your comment or objection must be filed with the Court or mailed to the Clerk of Court at the following address, filed/postmarked no later than September 29, 2022:

THE COURT

Office of the Clerk
USDC for the Northern District of California
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102-3489

Note that you can ask the Court to deny approval of the settlement by filing an objection, but you cannot 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 you would like to request that the Court deny approval, you must object. You have the right to consult with your own attorney, at your own expense, before deciding how best to proceed.

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, available here, describes the claims you are releasing (giving up) by staying in the Settlement Class (called “Released Claims”).

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
Daniel E. Seltz
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP
275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
(800) 200-7793

Daniel M. Hattis
Hattis & Lukacs
400 108th Avenue NE, Suite 500
Bellevue, WA 98004
(425) 233-8650

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 to Settlement Class Counsel will be paid from the Settlement Fund.

The Court has also appointed Plaintiffs Ian Vianu, Elizabeth Blum, and Dominic Gutierrez as class representatives to represent the Settlement Class.

Settlement Class Counsel (see Question 14) will file a motion on or before August 15, 2022, asking the Court to award them attorneys’ fees of up to $3.5 million (which is 25% of the $14 million Settlement Fund) plus reimbursement of their litigation expenses. 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 August 15, 2022, to award each of the three Plaintiffs representing the Settlement Class a service award of up to $3,500 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.

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.

The Court’s Fairness Hearing

The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing, currently scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on November 3, 2022, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Courtroom B, 15th Floor, 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.

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.

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.

Getting more information

More information can be found here. This website includes important case deadlines, links to case documents including the full Settlement Agreement, the original and amended Complaints in the case, AT&T’s Answers and other information about the lawsuit and the settlement. You can also get more information by calling (888) 564-8288, or by calling Settlement Class Counsel at (800) 200-7793.

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