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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Court holds satellite provider not liable for telemarketer’s calls

Courts TCPA Eleventh Circuit Class Action Appellate

Courts

On February 12, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted summary judgment in favor of a satellite TV company as to a class action’s TCPA claims, concluding that the company was not liable for its telemarketing service provider’s cold calls. As previously covered by InfoBytes, a consumer filed a class action against the company alleging that the company failed to maintain an “internal do-not-call list,” which allowed the company and its telemarketing service provider to contact him eighteen times after he repeatedly asked to not be contacted. The consumer sought certification “of all persons who received more than one telemarketing call from [the telemarketing service provider] on behalf of [the company] while it failed to maintain an internal do-not-call list.” The district court certified two representative classes: the Internal Do Not Call (IDNC) class and the National Do Not Call (NDNC) class. The company appealed the IDNC class and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vacated the district court’s certification of the IDNC class. The company then moved for summary judgment on the certified NDNC class claims and plaintiff’s individual IDNC claim.

Upon review, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the company concluding that there was no evidence that (i) the cold calls were made by the telemarketing provider within its actual authority from the company; (ii) the company made representations sufficient to give the telemarketing provider the apparent authority to make the cold calls; or (iii) the company ever ratified the cold calls. Specifically, the court noted that not only did the company “categorically ban[] all residential and cellular cold calls,” it also “regularly issued reminders that [the telemarketing provider] was required to continue implementation of national-do-not-call procedures in compliance with the TCPA.”

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