Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Judge Hits Dish Network with Unprecedented $280 Million in Penalties Over Violations of Do-Not-Call Laws

Judge Hits Dish Network with Unprecedented $280 Million in Penalties Over Violations of Do-Not-Call Laws

An Illinois federal judge has awarded $280 million to the federal government and the states of California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio as part of its efforts to permanently block Dish Network LLC and its telemarketing vendors from violating the National “Do-Not-Call” Registry laws. The major satellite service provider allegedly invaded consumers’ privacy by making vast numbers of illegal telemarketing calls without making any efforts to shield recipients who had signed up for the national Do Not Call registry.

Under the penalty, U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough ordered Dish to pay $168 million in civil penalties to the U.S. for their violations of the Federal Trade Commission’s Telephone Sales Rule. The Colorado-based company must pay the rest in civil penalties and statutory damages to the four listed states for failing to comply with the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

As reported by Law360, “the U.S. and the four states alleged in their complaint that Dish violated the various laws by making sales calls to individuals whose numbers were listed on the National Do Not Call Registry and to individuals who previously said they did not want to receive sales calls from Dish, as well as by abandoning calls, using prerecorded sales calls and helping others commit these violations.”

“Dish’s reckless decision to use anyone with a call center without any vetting or meaningful supervision demonstrates a disregard for the consuming public,” wrote Myerscough in a 475-page opinion. “Dish caused millions and millions of violations of the Do Not Call Laws, and Dish has minimized the significance of its own errors in direct telemarketing and steadfastly denied any responsibility for the actions of its [retailers].”

The case is U.S. et al. v. Dish Network LLC, case number 3:09-cv-03073, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

Lieff Cabraser’s Work on Cases Under The Telephone Consumer Protection Act

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) prohibits abusive telephone practices by lenders and marketers, and places strict limits on the use of autodialers to call or send texts to cellphones. Lieff Cabraser has spearheaded a series of groundbreaking class actions under the TCPA. The settlements in these cases have put a stop to collectively millions of harassing calls by debt collectors and others and have resulted in the recovery by consumers across America of over $270 million to date, with additional actions continuing.

If you have received what you feel are unwanted or abusive cell calls or text messages, please contact a national consumer protection attorney at Lieff Cabraser for a free review of your case.