Success Worth “Phoning Home” About

Last month, Wright Beamer secured the dismissal of two federal cases brought under the Telephonic Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). 

Under the TCPA, companies are prohibited from using an “Automatic Telephone Dialing System” (“ATDS” or “autodialer”) to place marketing calls or text messages to consumers without express permission, which was the violation alleged against our client.  In each case, we obtained expert reports confirming what we knew to be true all along: that our client’s phone systems do not have autodialer capacity.  But as in many cases, the expert reports were initially not enough to secure victory. 

In the first case, which was filed in an Indiana federal court, I traveled to South Bend to take the plaintiff’s deposition.  The plaintiff eventually admitted that she had destroyed relevant evidence (phone records and the cell phone that allegedly received calls from our client).  Based upon these revelations, coupled with the strength of the expert report, we filed a motion to dismiss the case.  The plaintiff ultimately “waved the white flag” and agreed to the dismissal.    

In the second case, which was filed in a Michigan federal court, the plaintiff failed to appear for her scheduled deposition, which prompted her attorneys to withdraw representation.  In the meantime, Wright Beamer continued to press on, and the judge eventually dismissed the action.  Both cases are now forever barred. 

Unfortunately, legal uncertainty surrounding the TCPA has paved the way for some law firms to file claims in hopes of “shaking down” companies, like our client, for a quick payout.  By vigorously defending against the allegations, our client has sent a strong message that it will not be bullied into frivolous payouts.  These cases underscore that it is sometimes necessary to aggressively defend against a claim – even if it could have been settled more quickly and cheaply at an earlier stage.  

Have questions about a business litigation issue? Want to know more about TCPA compliance? Give us a call at (248) 477-6300.