More and more businesses are relying on automated telephone calls (aka "robocalls") and text messages to reach their customers.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) places restrictions on telephone solicitations and the use of automated telephone equipment. Moreover, the TCPA authorizes recipients of certain types of unsolicited phone calls, robocalls, faxes, and text messages to file civil lawsuits and recover up to $1,500 per violation. Thus, if a business faces a lawsuit where multiple calls or text messages are at issue (including a class action), these damages can quickly swell to a massive exposure.
Over the last several years, there has been a surge in TCPA class action litigation. A significant portion of these lawsuits involve mass text messages, where the plaintiffs allege that the sender did not obtain the recipients’ consent to send the messages. Often in these cases, the advertiser in the text messages at issue did not send the text messages. Even still, plaintiffs have argued (successfully in some circumstances) that the advertiser still had sufficient control over the sender of the text messages to impute responsibility under the TCPA. An advertiser named in a TCPA lawsuit must be prepared to immediately rebut that argument.
Because commercial text messages are typically sent out in very high volume, and because the TCPA allows each class member to recover between $500 and $1,500 in damages, TCPA class actions quickly become “bet-the-company” lawsuits. Robocall class actions can also involve potential damages that can cripple a company. Kronenberger Rosenfeld has extensive experience defending TCPA class actions. The firm has employed a variety of pre-litigation and litigation tools to successfully attack such TCPA claims.
- Represented social networking app developer backed by more than $350 million in venture financing in a TCPA class action lawsuit. The firm obtained a speedy settlement and voluntary dismissal of the putative TCPA class action against the client, after early discovery and independent research by the firm demonstrated that the SMS text message at issue was initiated by the plaintiff’s acquaintance and not the client.
- Defended an affiliate network that generated financial product leads in a multimillion dollar TCPA class action. The firm obtained dismissal of the action before class certification.
- Defended both advertisers and call centers in robocall class action litigation in multiple states.
- Obtained dismissal of a TCPA class action lawsuit against the sender of text messages that promoted short-term loans.
- Defended sender of thousands of text messages related to educational opportunities and negotiated pre-litigation resolution that involved no payment of money.