Manno v. Healthcare Revenue Recovery Group, No. 11-61357 (S.D. Fla.) (Mar. 26, 2013)

Judge Scola. Granting class certification.

Individual consent issues often derail putative TCPA classes. Not this one (at least not yet).

The plaintiff gave his cellphone number to a hospital as part of his admission to the emergency room. Later, when the plaintiff failed to pay for the ER visit, Healthcare Recovery Group (the hospital’s debt collector) called him to try to recover the debt. He sued Healthcare Recovery under the TCPA (and other statutes), contending that the debt collector illegally used an autodialer and pre-recorded message to make the call.

Judge Scola rejected Healthcare Recovery’s argument that consent was an individualized issue. According to the court, discovery had shown that the lion’s share of proposed class members had no contact with Healthcare Recovery before the allegedly illegal calls (and thus had no chance to consent to those calls).