August 15, 2017

One Unanswered Call is all it Takes to Violate TCPA

Does Your Company Know All TCPA Compliance Regulations?

One call could be all it takes for your company to find itself in the middle of a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit. Under the TCPA, an individual has a private right of action, and typically a class action suit is comprised of thousands of plaintiffs. However, a single, unanswered phone call landed Work Out World (WOW) on the wrong side of the law after a consumer complaint.

In July 2015, WOW made a call to Noreen Susinno on her cell phone. Susinno did not pick up the phone so WOW left a voicemail about a promotion the gym was offering. Days later the New Jersey resident filed a TCPA class action complaint—a class comprised of one. Learn more about Noreen Susinno v. Work Out World Inc. 

The complaint alleged that this act was an intrusion on Susinno’s seclusion, that the call wasted her time and also assisted in draining her cell phone battery. Over a year later, the District Court of New Jersey dismissed the putative class action.

The Court ruled Susinno’s claims were not “the type of case Congress was trying to protect people against,” under the TCPA, and that she had no standing to sue as the phone call did not cause injury. A year later, in July 2017, the Third Circuit reversed this decision.

The appellate decision sustained the unsolicited call to Susinno was exactly what Congress intended to protect consumers from by enacting the TCPA. It also maintained Susinno’s privacy was harmed and that was sufficient enough injury.

This opinion gives plaintiffs plenty of freedom when looking to file a TCPA suit. Freedom that your company should be cautious of.

To learn more about what violations your company may be at risk for, click here.