Appellate Court Upholds TCPA Violation Ruling Based on Single Phone Call

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) helps protect users against automated services, unsolicited calls, messages or other spam texts that encourage the purchase of goods, services or investments. With the frequency of these unwanted messages on the rise, each case from here on out sets a precedent for what is acceptable and what constitutes a violation of privacy and protected rights.

Businesses facing TCPA claims frequently contend that the plaintiff has not suffered a “concrete injury” sufficient to provide Article III standing, despite a violation of the TCPA. This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected this defense and upheld a ruling that a single call to a woman’s cellphone was grounds to sue under the act. See Susinno v. Work Out World Inc., No. 16-3277, 2017 WL 2925432 (3d Cir. July 10, 2017).

The latest ruling relates to the case of Noreen Susinno and her accusations against a gym for violating the TCPA with a prerecorded promotional offer.  The Third Circuit found that Susinno’s claim of “nuisance and invasion of privacy” from a single prerecorded telephone call was “the very harm that Congress sought to prevent” through the TCPA. Susinno, *4.  The Court held that Susinno had sufficiently alleged a concrete, albeit intangible harm to demonstrate standing.

EP partner Seth Lehrman handles privacy rights cases, including those alleging violations of privacy rights protected under the TCPA. Lehrman litigates class actions in state and federal courts in Florida, California and across the United States, including TCPA claims on behalf of consumers. He can be reached at [email protected] or 1-800-400-1098 during business hours on Eastern Standard Time.