- Associated Press - Friday, April 15, 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal judge in St. Louis is weighing whether to sign off on a $1.6 million settlement to a class-action lawsuit involving tens of thousands of unsolicited faxes.

The proposed settlement could amount to up to $180 per copy for dental businesses that claimed Indiana-based Zimmer Dental Inc. sent the unwanted faxes, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1p3GzGE ) reported.

Zimmer, which sells dental implants and other products, denies any wrongdoing as part of the settlement of the 2015 lawsuit filed by Sunset Tower Family Dentistry in the St. Louis suburb of Sunset Hills.

The lawsuit alleged that Sunset Tower was subjected to a “prolonged junk fax assault” of 19 faxes from Zimmer in seven months. The lawsuit says the Zimmer faxes did not provide a fax number, as required by law, and did not provide a phone number to a voice line.

“I was getting 40 faxes a day” from multiple senders, said Barney dePenaloz, Sunset Tower Family Dentistry office manager. “You can’t get them to stop.”

As part of the settlement proposal, the plaintiffs’ lawyers will receive more than $533,000.

The class covered by the lawsuit included anyone who has received a Zimmer fax since Feb. 17, 2011, as long as the recipient didn’t either have an established relationship with Zimmer or hadn’t given the company permission to send a fax. The faxes also had to be lacking notices that the recipient could halt them by calling or faxing a number.

Of 36,215 potential fax recipients, just over 10 percent, or 3,709, responded to a mailed or faxed notice of the settlement, court filings show.

U.S. District Judge Ronnie White told attorneys during a hearing Thursday that he’d take the settlement under advisement.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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