Defending Against Consumer Class Action Liability

March 30, 2018

Businesses nationwide have been plagued by litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a law meant to protect consumers from unsolicited auto-dialed and prerecorded phone calls, text messages, and faxed advertisements. When the damages—$500 (for negligent violations) or $1,500 (for willful violations) for each unlawful call, text, or fax—are aggregated in a class action lawsuit, a business could face massive financial exposure. As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned in 2017, TCPA cases “sprawl across the country, targeting companies in virtually every industry.”

Epstein Becker Green has experience helping our clients avoid liability under the TCPA. For example, the firm recently represented a health care client in a potential TCPA class action brought by a plaintiff who received a text message from our client encouraging him to make an appointment for a preventive treatment. After a lower court sided with our client, the plaintiff appealed. Epstein Becker Green argued—and the appellate court agreed—that the plaintiff provided express consent when he gave his contact information to our client during the registration process, and the client’s text message fell within the scope of that express consent. With the case now dismissed, our client can continue to assure the health of its patients and the public by transmitting phone and text messages to patients who voluntarily provide their phone numbers so that they can receive vital treatment messages.