United States District Court, D. Maryland
TIM BOND, on his own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated Plaintiffs
CRICKET COMMUNICATIONS, LLC Defendant
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: INTERVENE
J. Garbis United States District Judge.
Court has before it Michael Scott's Motion to Intervene
[ECF No. 42] and the materials submitted relating thereto.
The Court has considered the materials submitted by the
parties and finds a hearing unnecessary.
Tim Bond (“Bond”) filed this putative class
action against Defendant Cricket Communications, LLC
(“Cricket”)on May 8, 2015. On September 24, 2015,
Michael A. Scott (“Scott”) filed a putative class
action against Cricket in the Circuit Court for Baltimore
City. Scott's lawsuit was removed to this Court, remanded
back to state court, appealed, and then remanded back to
federal court. Scott now seeks to intervene in Bond's
lawsuit on his own behalf and on behalf of the certified
class he represents. A more detailed discussion of the
factual and procedural background for both cases will provide
relevant context for the instant determination.
its acquisition by AT&T in 2013, Cricket offered for sale and
sold cellphones that operate exclusively on a 3G
CDMAcellular network. However, AT&T and Cricket
had decided to discontinue the CDMA network and require
Cricket customers to use AT&T's GSM cellular network.
The cellphones cost hundreds of dollars each and were
marketed as including “unsurpassed nationwide
coverage.” Class Action Compl. ¶¶ 26-28, ECF
No. 2, GLR-15-3330 (“Scott Compl.”). But the
cellphones sold by Cricket cannot be transferred from the
CDMA network to the GSM network. The cellphones were also
“locked” by Cricket so they cannot be used on
another cellphone service provider's network. In other
words, the cellphones became useless and worthless.
initially filed his lawsuit on March 31, 2015 against AT&T,
but amended his complaint on May 8, 2015 to substitute
Cricket as the Defendant. Class Action Compl., ECF No. 1,
First Am. Class Action Compl. (“FAC”), ECF No. 3.
Bond seeks to represent a class defined as “[a]ll
persons nationwide during the period July 12, 2013 to the
present who purchased a CDMA handset from Cricket or through
its authorized agents.” FAC ¶ 41. In the
FAC, Bond alleged six causes of action:
• Count I - Breach of Implied Warranty of
• Count II - Fraudulent Concealment
• Count III - Money Had and Received/Unjust Enrichment
• Count IV - Negligent Misrepresentation
• Count V - Maryland Consumer Protection Act
• Count VI - Fraud
13, 2015, Cricket moved to compel arbitration and stay
proceedings pending the outcome of arbitration. Mot. Compel,
ECF No. 15. Judge Quarles of this Court granted the motion on
January 12, 2016 and stayed the case pending the outcome of
arbitration. Mem. Opinion and Order, ECF Nos. 18, 19.
Bond nor Cricket initiated arbitration. Almost a year later,
on December 9, 2016, Bond contacted Cricket's counsel to
request consent for leave to amend the complaint. After
receiving no response, Bond contacted Cricket's counsel
again on January 12, 2017 and was notified that Cricket would
not consent. On February 17, 2017, Bond filed a Motion
Requesting Leave to File Second Amended Class Action
Complaint [ECF No. 21], which added Count VII for Violations
of the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act (“MMWA”).
Although Counts I through VI remained in the proposed Second
Amended Class Action Complaint (“SAC”), Bond
stated his understanding that those causes of action were
subject to arbitration but that he could not be compelled to
arbitrate the MMWA claim. Mot. Leave 2-3, ECF No. 21.
the parties met and conferred concerning Bond's motion,
on February 24, 2017, Bond and Cricket filed the Stipulation
Concerning Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Second
Amended Complaint [ECF No. 26]. Therein, the parties agreed
to the following:
• Bond agreed to seek leave to file his SAC solely to
pursue a new claim under the federal MMWA,
• Bond agreed that he was bound to arbitrate Counts I
through VI and would not re-litigate any facts or introduce
any new evidence related to arbitration or other subject and
would not seek to reopen Counts I to VI,
• Bond agreed that it would respond to Cricket's
intended new motion to compel arbitration only on the grounds
that the MMWA does not permit the claim to be arbitrated, and
• Cricket agreed to not object to the stay being lifted
for the sole purpose of allowing Bond to pursue the new MMWA
Id. The Court approved the Stipulation and granted
Bond's request to file the SAC. See ECF Nos. 27, 28, 29.
On May 2, 2017, Cricket filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration
[ECF No. 34], and Bond responded accordingly.
and Cricket engaged Judge Benson Everett Legg (Ret.) to
mediate a class-wide settlement. Negotiations were conducted
at arms-length. Legg Ltr., ECF No. 43-2. The first mediation
session was held on May 5, 2017, followed by a second session
by telephone on August 2, 2017, and agreement in principle
was ultimately achieved on August 5, 2017. Id.
Thereafter, a letter was filed with this Court advising that
a settlement agreement in principle had been ...