Just when it seemed that Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) suits might be on the wane, plaintiffs filed new putative class actions this week, targeting everything from robocalls to text messages.
California federal courts saw a pair of new suits filed by the same plaintiff against Marriott International and Gallup Inc. Both suits claimed that the hotel chain and the polling company made unsolicited calls to Jason Hartley’s cell phone number despite the fact that it was registered on the National Do Not Call Registry since December 2004.
Marriott repeatedly called the number with marketing for vacations or rewards, in one case with a prerecorded message congratulating Hartley on being drawn as a winner in a contest. The plaintiff also asserted that although he answered one of the calls and selected the option to be placed on an internal do not call list, he received yet another phone call.
As for Gallup, Hartley was “frustrated and distressed” that the company “harassed” him with a call using an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS), he claimed. Both suits seek to represent a nationwide class of plaintiffs estimated to number “in the several thousands,” requesting statutory damages for negligent as well as knowing and/or willful violations of the TCPA.
To read the complaint in Hartley v. Marriott International, Inc., click here.
To read the complaint in Hartley v. Gallup, Inc., click here.
Why it matters: Each of the complaints stressed to the court the history and purpose of the TCPA, with references to robocalls as the “scourge of modern civilization,” as well as a discussion of the statute’s purpose, “designed to prevent calls and messages like the ones described within this complaint, and to protect the privacy of citizens like Plaintiff,” as Hartley wrote in both of his actions.