Will New FCC Leadership Be a Game Changer For TCPA?
Legal action involving the federal TCPA has become a the leading types of consumer lawsuit in the US. The growth fueled by statutory penalties that can be compounded into huge claims in class actions suites, but also by an especially broad interpretation of the regulations as pushed by the FCC in recent years. The election of Donald J. Trump as president, may prove to be a turning point for the TCPA, with control changing from a Democratic majority of appointees at the FCC to a Republican majority of appointees, including a harsh critic of the Federal Communications Commission’s history of handling the TCPA.
Tom Wheeler the FCC Chairman announced in December that he intended to step down from his position on Jan. 20, 2017. The implications of Wheeler’s resigning do not stop at the chairman’s seat. In December, the Senate was slated to vote on reconfirmation of Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel for another 5 year term, however they did not. The departure of Wheeler and Rosenworcel will leave the FCC under staffed and, more importantly, with one Democratic and two Republican commissioners.
Dish Network Hit With $20 Million Verdict In Class Action Telemarketing Lawsuit
Dish Network to Pay $20 Million Verdict In Telemarketing Class Action Lawsuit. A five-day trial, in Greensboro, NC lead to a jury handing down a $20.5 million ruling in a class action trial against the now defunct Dish Network.
Leading the class Dr. Thomas Krakauer of Bahama, North Carolina, alleged the company was liable for more than 51,000 telemarketing calls placed to persons whose phone numbers were on the National Do Not Call Registry.
The jury found DISH liable for all of the calls, awarding $400 per violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. “This case has always been about enforcing the Do Not Call law and protecting people from nuisance telemarketing calls,” said Dr. Krakauer. “I am thrilled with the jury’s verdict, and thrilled we were able to win this enforcement action.”
Landline or Cell? We can tell!
Blue Shield Escapes TCPA-Related Liability
Blue Shield escaped TCPA-related liability in putative class action case. The court found that Blue Shield had the required consent to send a text to the plaintiff. The decision focused in large part on the difference between sms messages that contain ads, which the sender is required to obtain prior express written consent from the recipient, and informational messages, in which a sender must only have prior express consent from the recipient.
In this case, Blue Shield was found to have previously obtained such express consent – the plaintiff had provided her mobile phone number as part of her Blue Shield application for health coverage. Blue Shield’s informational message was in fact a notification required by the Affordable Care Act to be sent from health insurers who intend to modify a subscriber’s insurance policy, found to be closely related enough to the circumstances under which plaintiff had previously provided her prior express consent, thus exempting Blue Shield from liability under the TCPA.
Contact RPV before your next telemarketing campaign
Frontier offers $11 Million to Settle TCPA Class Action
A suggested $11 million settlement from Frontier Communications Corp. has been agreed, possibly ending a class action Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit against the company.
Diana Mey filed the lawsuit in 2013. Mey claims she and 1000’s of others received telemarketing robocalls that were contracted by Frontier and placed by Virido on the Five9 predictive dialing system according to a contract between Virido and Frontier. Virido used a list of phone numbers provided by Frontier.
Under the proposed agreement, member’s of the settlement class receive a base payment of $90. The remaining fund balance will then be divided on a call-by-call basis to class members who have received multiple calls.
People still fax? Huh.
Lands’ End Faces TCPA Class Action From Alleged Junk Faxes
Wisconsin-based clothing retailer Land’s End, was named as a defendant in a class action filed January 4, 2017 under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in a Connecticut federal court. TCPA includes the Junk Fax Protection Act of 2005, which prohibitions sending unsolicited fax advertisements without a required way of opting-out. Gorss Motels Inc., the plaintiff in the case, claims it received an unsolicited fax from Lands’ End that did not contain the required language to opt-out.
Gorss Motels intends to represent itself and any persons who have received the faxes from Lands’ End lacking the proper opt-out notice. The TCPA’s language requires that an opt-out option only be on unsolicited fax advertisements, the plaintiff proposes to represent class members that include recipients of both solicited and unsolicited faxes, so long as those faxes lacked the appropriate opt-out information. They are basing the theory of liability on a 2014 FCC regulation which interprets the opt-out requirement to apply to all fax advertisements, whether solicited or unsolicited (the interpretation is in the process of being challenged in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals).
This case brings forward an interesting factual curcumstances because the fax that the Gorss Motels received (and included with the Complaint) was addressed to employees and owners of another hotel – the Wyndham Worldwide Corp. but was nonetheless claimed to be received by Gorss Motels. Gorss is proceeding on the belief that the TCPA attaches liability to the company’s goods/services that are advertised, meaning even if Lands’ End did not mean to send the fax or sent it inadvertently to Gorss Motels, under their’ theory, Lands’ End is still liable.