A complaint was recently filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) in connection with the receipt of unsolicited commercial telephone calls and text messages. The complaint seeks to hold liable both the telemarketing company that allegedly placed the subject calls and text messages, as well as the individual owners of the entity.

What is the nature of the allegations set forth in the TCPA lawsuit?

In his papers, the TCPA lawsuit plaintiff sets forth a detailed narrative in which he explains that he received dozens of telephone calls and text messages advertising various financial products. Alleging that he had never provided prior express written consent to receive such phone calls and text messages, the plaintiff contends that he then “played along” on the phone calls at issue in order to determine the identity of the telemarketers, who he claimed refused to initially identify themselves. At the conclusion of the phone calls, the plaintiff consented to receive follow up information from the telemarketers via email, which allowed the plaintiff to confirm the identity of the telemarketing company. Subsequently, the plaintiff conducted independent research to determine the identity of the telemarketer’s owners in order to name them individually in this TCPA lawsuit.

Protect Yourself Against TCPA Lawsuits

As this TCPA lawsuit demonstrates, it is critical for businesses to understand the scope of the TCPA and its implementing regulations. Despite conducting telemarketing operations through an incorporated entity, the entity’s owners in the instant action confront significant personal liability. This is the case because the TCPA’s reach can extend to owners/employees that may be responsible for violative dialing practices. Given the financial exposure that companies and their owners face in today’s regulatory environment, it is imperative to have telemarketing practices and procedures examined by experienced counsel.