Comprehensive Health Care Systems of the Palm Beaches, Inc. filed a lawsuit against M3 USA Corporation alleging that the faxes M3 sent to healthcare professionals in research surveys were “advertisements” in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). M3 filed a petition with the FCC seeking confirmation that “research survey invitations” are not advertisements subject to the TCPA requirements, and moved to stay the case pending resolution of the Petition. The United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida granted M3’s motion to stay, holding that the potential effect of the petition on this case and the dearth of definitive interpretation of the applicable TCPA provisions counseled against continued litigation of the case until the threshold issue in the petition can be addressed by the FCC.

TIP: The FCC will likely provide some clarity soon as to whether “research survey invitations” are advertising messages subject to the TCPA prior express written consent requirements.