On May 18, 2015, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider the issue of whether a proposed class action is mooted when the named plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claim. See Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, U.S., No. 14-857, cert. granted, 5/18/15.
The case involves advertising agency Campbell-Ewald Co., which is attempting to fend off the class action lawsuit over claims the company violated a federal consumer law by sending unsolicited text messages on behalf of the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Navy messages were part of a recruitment drive. The brief text message, sent to around 100,000 people, included the phrase: “Destined for something big? Do it in the Navy.”
The Court agreed to review a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holding that the plaintiff's claims for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, were not mooted by an offer of judgment. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, it is illegal to make a call or send a message using an automated system without consent.
Two years ago, the Supreme Court discussed the disagreement that exists among federal appeals courts on the mootness issue in a Fair Labor Standards Act case, Genesis Healthcare v. Symczyk, but ultimately held that it was unable to decide whether such an offer moots the plaintiff's individual and collective action claims because the issue was not properly presented.