3rd Party Vendor Claims TCPA Violation on Behalf of AT&T
Sutherland argued in contest that “the facts at issue show that AT&T was controlling the means and methods used by Sutherland in placing the calls at issue in every significant way.” The motion claims that AT&T established a contract with Sutherland in early 2014 classifying Sutherland as an independent contractor. However, there was an exception covering Sutherland making calls to AT&T’s customers. When making calls, the contract stated that Sutherland would be “acting as AT&T’s agent.”
3rd Party TCPA Violation
Further, AT&T’s lead project manager attested that AT&T controlled every aspect of the effort, including overseeing Sutherland’s work with an on-site manager, instructing Sutherland with what numbers to call, and providing scripts for Sutherland callers. Sutherland employees making calls were also instructed to identify themselves as AT&T customer service representatives.
Plaintiff James Thompson filed his original dispute against AT&T after Sutherland made calls to him in December 2015. He included Sutherland in his second dispute, but after receiving AT&T’s motion to compel, he decided to drop AT&T and only pursue Sutherland. Sutherland argues this was simply out of convenience as Thompson originally claimed Sutherland was acting on behalf of AT&T. “The test of agency is not determined by whatever is more advantageous for a plaintiff to argue at different stages in litigation,” stated Sutherland.