Two proposed plaintiff classes have been certified in a federal lawsuit against DIRECTV over allegations the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and related rules promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission by making unwanted telemarketing phone calls to consumers. The case is Cordoba v. DirecTV LLC, No. 1:15-CV-3755-MHC, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Congress enacted the TCPA in 1991 to protect the privacy interests of residential telephone subscribers by placing restrictions on unsolicited, automated telephone calls to the home and to facilitate interstate commerce by restricting certain uses of automatic dialers. Later enhancements to the TCPA prohibit sellers from making phone solicitations to people who list their numbers on the National Do-Not-Call Registry and on federally-mandated seller and telemarketer “internal do-not-call lists.” When these procedures are not followed, each call made by a telemarketer constitutes a violation of the TCPA and FCC regulations, and any person who receives two or more such calls to a non-business number has the right to enjoin the violation and recover up to $500 in damages, or up to $1500 if the violations are willful.
The lawsuit alleges that, between March 2015 and March 2016 alone, DIRECTV ‘s telemarketing agent placed over 60,000 sales calls that did not comply with the mandatory minimum procedures required by the law. The lawsuit claims that DIRECTV’s agent did not maintain an internal do-not-call list and called individuals despite their phone numbers being on the National Do Not Call Registry. The lawsuit seeks relief in the form of statutory damages as well as injunctive relief to prevent future telemarketing violations under the TCPA.
DIRECTV sought to evade liability by arguing that even if its telemarketers violated the TCPA, the plaintiff consumers failed to allege sufficient harm from the unwanted and illegal telemarketing conduct that is the subject of the lawsuit, but the Court rejected this argument, holding that previous rulings by the Eleventh Circuit make it clear that the plaintiff need not suffer any monetary loss in order to successfully prosecute a damages lawsuit under the TCPA. The Court further noted that “an overwhelming majority of courts…have continued to hold that the mere receipt of faxes, telemarketing calls, and/or text messages in violation of the TCPA constitutes sufficient harm.”
DIRECTV also argued that it would be too difficult to figure out which consumers were called, and separately, that some of them might have an existing business relationship with DIRECTV, which would preclude liability to those consumers; the Court rejected both these arguments. The Court further found that numerous threshold tests of the suitability of the class action resolution mechanism had been sufficiently met. The case will now proceed to trial.
Lieff Cabraser partner Daniel Hutchinson, who represents the class, along with co-counsel from L. Lin Wood, P.C., Meyer Wilson Co., LPA, and King Yaklin & Wilkins, LLP, stated, “This decision is a great initial victory for plaintiffs, and reflects the seriousness of these intrusions into plaintiffs’ privacy through repeated, unwanted telemarketing calls. We are eager to move forward and obtain justice for the plaintiffs and the classes harmed by DIRECTV’s violations of their rights under the TCPA.”
National Telephone Consumer Protection Act Lawyers at Lieff Cabraser
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act 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 $300 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.
About Lieff Cabraser
Lieff Cabraser advises consumers as well as businesses whether and how to pursue legal action to halt and obtain compensation for the deceptive practices of large corporations. With a blend of courage, superior legal skills, and high principles, we protect our clients’ interests and help them achieve their goals by winning highly-complex consumer protection lawsuits against those that have defrauded consumers.
About L. Lin Wood, P.C.
L. Lin Wood, P.C., is a dynamic Atlanta-based litigation boutique with a national reputation and practice. With over 65 combined years of experience, the professionals at L. Lin Wood, P.C., have the expertise to handle any civil matter from inception through trial and appeal. The firm is dedicated to aggressive representation, combined with delivering excellent work product and living up to a full commitment to the causes of its clients.
About Meyer Wilson Co., LPA
Meyer Wilson is devoted solely to investor claims and class and mass actions. The firm’s robocall class actions have resulted in over $250 million in cash recoveries for consumers around the country. Additionally, over the past 15 years, more than 1,000 investors have selected the firm to fight to recover investment losses caused by the misconduct of their financial advisor or stockbroker.
About King Yaklin & Wilkins, LLP
King Yaklin & Wilkins represents corporate and individual clients in complex business, construction, fiduciary, and domestic relations disputes pending in State and Federal courts throughout the United States. The firm’s attorneys are AV-Rated and recognized by SuperLawyers as experts in business and general litigation, which services include representation from contract negotiation through a jury trial or arbitration.
Notice on Attorney Advertising
This press release may be considered attorney advertising in certain jurisdictions. Any testimonial or endorsement does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. Every legal matter is different. The outcome of your claim or case depends upon many factors, including the specific facts of your claim or case. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
Daniel M. Hutchinson
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP