The Buffalo Bills will pay a heavy price -- potentially more than $3 million -- for sending too many text messages to fans.
Fans including Jerry Wojcik, who filed a class action lawsuit in 2012, asserted that he opted to receive text messages from the Bills but said the team sent him and others more than it was allowed, per consumer protection laws.
Last week, in Tampa, Fla., a federal court gave preliminary approval to a settlement that would give each plaintiff debit cards for use at the team store at Ralph Wilson Stadium or on the team's official site.
If all 39,750 fans who opted in to receive text messages collect their debit cards, which will range in value from $57.50 to $75, the Bills will have given back gift cards worth a total $2,487,745. The cards, which will be fully transferable, will be valid for a period of four years. The Bills will pay an additional $562,500 to Wojcik's lawyers for attorney fees.
The Buffalo News first reported the settlement, which was released through the court.
Wojcik said terms and conditions provided that the Bills could send three to five text messages per week for a period of 12 months, but that on several occassions he received more than that. Even though the Bills agreed to the deal, the team contends in the settlement that it does not believe it violated any laws. Messages left for the Bills seeking comment weren't immediately returned.
The final hearing, which would be to approve the settlement, is scheduled for Aug. 20.