In Urban Elevator Serv., LLC v. Stryker Lubricant Distributors, Inc., No. 15 CV 2128, 2015 WL 6736676 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 4, 2015), Judge Manish Shah granted Defendant Sinopec USA, Inc.’s (“Sinopec USA”) motion to dismiss in its entirety. Significantly, Plaintiff brought a suit against a group of defendants, including Sinopec USA, alleging violations under the TCPA, conversion, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act for allegedly sending unsolicited fax advertisements to Plaintiff. In dismissing the case, the Court noted that Plaintiff’s allegations as to Sinopec USA specifically, “contains no factual content that raises the right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. at *2. As a result, “Plaintiff offers nothing to suggest its theory as to Sinopec USA is anything other than pure guesswork.” Id. Despite Sinopec USA’s role as a liaison between the other named defendants, the Court held that “the complaint says nothing about the relationship between [the other named defendants] and Sinopec USA other than Sinopec USA is a liaison which organizes meetings.” Id. In light of the lack of any sufficient factual content in Plaintiff’s complaint as it relates to Sinopec USA’s involvement with the alleged violative conduct, the Court dismissed all three counts against Sinopec USA without prejudice.
The foregoing case is noteworthy to the extent that where plaintiffs seek to include multiple defendants in a TCPA suit, a court will require some factually specific allegations as to each defendant and their role in the violative conduct. By simply pleading “Defendants” as a group, plaintiffs open themselves up to having parties dismissed.