In recent years, lawsuits alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) have become among the most frequently filed lawsuits in the federal courts. The number of TCPA cases filed in 2018 was staggering – 4,392. The exposure to potential liability in such lawsuits can threaten to jeopardize the financial viability of businesses, particularly when the lawsuits are filed as class actions. In addition, the TCPA carries the additional exposure to potential personal liability. Statutory penalties may be imposed in an amount of either $500.00 per call or text, or $1500.00 if the violation is deemed willful. Often, plaintiffs will seek to recover for two violations arising from a single telephone call/text: (i) based on a phone call or text message placed through an auto-dialer without their consent; and (ii) because they received the phone call or text message despite listing their phone numbers on the national Do Not Call registry. We have served as corporate, regulatory and litigation counsel for telemarketing companies and lead generators nationwide for over two decades. In this capacity, we have extensively defended the industry against TCPA claims, including those brought by Manuel Hiraldo of Hiraldo P.A., a law firm that has established itself as one of the more active plaintiffs’ counsel firms in the country prosecuting TCPA claims.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Sued by Manuel Hiraldo?
Even the most prudent lead generator, telemarketing company or advertiser may still find itself defending a TCPA lawsuit. In such a case, it is imperative not to panic, and to engage knowledgeable counsel as quickly as possible. There are often multiple defenses to claims brought pursuant to the TCPA. If you are sued, it is critical that you do not: (1) speak with your adversary; (2) issue press releases; (3) speak with employees, marketing partners, advertisers or others in the industry until after you have had the opportunity to speak with your attorney; or (4) destroy, tamper with, or create documents.
How to Avoid A TCPA Lawsuit
There are clear best practices that can be implemented to minimize the risk of becoming involved in a TCPA lawsuit. Among other measures, advertisers should confirm that their marketing partners are taking proper steps to maintain compliance with the TCPA and related state marketing laws. Likewise, marketers should ensure that they have proper protocols in place to assure their own compliance. Above all, it is critical to work with experienced telemarketing counsel before launching any campaign in order to implement the practices and procedures necessary to prevent prospective consumers from being contacted in violation of the TCPA and, thus, to avoid being named in a TCPA lawsuit.