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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

District court: $925 million statutory damages award not constitutionally excessive

Courts Robocalls TCPA Settlement


On August 14, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon refused to reduce a $925 million statutory damages award against a company found to have violated the TCPA by sending almost two million unsolicited robocalls to consumers. The company argued that the statutory damages award violates due process because “it is so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportionate to the offense and obviously unreasonable.” The court rejected the company’s argument that the penalty was unconstitutionally excessive, noting that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has not yet answered the question as to “whether due process limits the aggregate statutory damages that can be awarded in a class action lawsuit under the TCPA.” Instead, the district court concluded that the allowance for at least $500 per violation under the TCPA is constitutionally valid and that the penalty’s “large aggregate number comes from simple arithmetic.” Referencing an opinion issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the court reasoned that “[s]omeone whose maximum penalty reaches the mesosphere only because the number of violations reaches the stratosphere can’t complain about the consequences of its own extensive misconduct.” Thus, the court rejected the company’s argument that the aggregate damages award should be reduced, finding that due process does not require the reduction of the aggregate statutory award where the company violated the TCPA nearly two million times.

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