Earlier this week, Illinois resident Joshua Thorne filed a purported class action against Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., in the Northern District of Illinois. See Thorne v. Donald J. Trump For President, Inc., No. 16-4603 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 25, 2016). The suit seeks statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, and injunctive relief for alleged TCPA violations. Thorne alleges that although he never provided his phone number to the Trump campaign, he recently received a text message from 88022 (an SMS short code leased by the Trump campaign) stating “Reply YES to subscribe to Donald J. Trump for President. Your subscription will help Make America Great Again! Msg&data rates may apply.” Thorne further alleges that the message was sent on behalf of the Trump campaign by Tatango, Inc., which he alleges offers both bulk-messaging software and a free TCPA compliance guide. Thorne seeks to represent a nationwide class of all individuals who, during the last four years, did not provide their cell phone numbers to the Trump campaign but nonetheless received a text regarding the campaign. Thorne claims that the Trump campaign sent thousands of the same or similar text, and seeks $500-$1500 on behalf of each class member for each such text.
The Complaint is noteworthy because it is the second TCPA complaint filed in as many months by the same plaintiff’s counsel targeting a political campaign. (See our prior coverage of election-related TCPA issues here).