Second Circuit: TCPA Class Actions Can Proceed in New York Federal Courts

LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Share

The Second Circuit recently held that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 governs whether TCPA class actions can proceed in New York federal courts, and concluded that a prior Second Circuit ruling to the contrary no longer was good law.  Bank v. Independence Energy Group LLC, No. 13-1746-cv (2d Cir. Dec. 3, 2013).

Previously, in Bonime v. Avaya, Inc., 547 F.3d 497 (2d Cir. 2008), the Second Circuit had held that state procedural rules governed whether a TCPA action could proceed as a class action in federal court, instead of Rule 23.  Because N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 901(b) bars class actions seeking statutory damages unless the statute at issue expressly authorizes recovery in a class action (which the TCPA does not), the Bonime court ruled that a TCPA plaintiff could not pursue a class action for statutory damages in New York federal courts.  This effectively sounded the death knell for TCPA class actions in New York.

Continue reading

Court Certifies TCPA Class Action and Subjects Defendant to Aggregate Liability After Discounting Contrary Authority

Despite a readily available forum for individual suits and the disproportionate and the potentially ruinous liability a TCPA class action presents, a New Jersey District Court nonetheless deemed a class action the superior mechanism for resolving a TCPA suit In A & L Indus., Inc. v. P. Cipollini, Inc., No. 12-7598, 2013 WL 5503303, at *5 (D.N.J. Oct. 2, 2013).  The defendant then sought reconsideration, which the District Court recently denied.

The lawsuit arose from a fax advertisement that a marketing company sent to more than 4,000 recipients on behalf of defendant Cipollini, Inc., a roofing company.  Id. at *1.  Neither Cipollini nor the marketer had obtained prior express consent from these recipients.  One of them, plaintiff A & L Industries, Inc., brought a class action alleging violations of the TCPA and other claims.  Id.

Continue reading

Genesis Healthcare’s Impact on TCPA Mootness Efforts

We previously discussed some recent mootness decisions coming out of the federal courts in Florida.  Within the context of those cases, we explained that the offer must be “complete” and its language must be carefully considered.  We also noted that the Supreme Court in Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, 133 S. Ct. 1523 (2013) analyzed but did not reach the mootness issue, leaving lower courts to their own devices.  Quite conveniently, a recent decision out of the District of Maryland touched upon both of these topics.  See Kensington Physical Therapy, Inc. v. Jackson Therapy Partners, LLC, 8:11-cv-02467, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142527 (D. Md. Oct. 2, 2013).  A copy is available here.

Continue reading

Court Stays TCPA Class Action So Parties Can Request FCC Ruling Regarding Whether Defendants Used An Automatic Telephone Dialing System

The Southern District of Texas recently granted a motion to stay proceedings pending a primary jurisdiction referral to the FCC in Fried v. Sensia Salon, Inc., et al., No. 4:13-cv-00312, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168645 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 27, 2013).  A copy of the decision is available here.

Sensia, a beauty salon in Houston, contracted with Textmunications, Inc., a mobile technology company, which in turn contracted with Air2Web, a mobile messaging aggregator (“MMA”), to transmit text message advertisements to Sensia’s former and current customers.  Plaintiffs allege violations of the TCPA, violations of § 305-053 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code (“TBCC”), invasion of plaintiffs’ privacy, and conspiracy to violate the TCPA and TBCC.

Continue reading

TCPA Class Action Against The Buccaneers Is Mooted … Rematch Already Underway

As we recently discussed, in Stein, et al. v. Buccaneers LP, No. 13-2136 (M.D. Fla.), the Bucs filed a motion to dismiss a putative TCPA class action on the ground that its pre-certification offer of judgment mooted the named plaintiffs’ claims.  In response to the motion to dismiss—indeed, one day later—plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification.  Although Judge Merryday immediately denied plaintiffs’ class certification motion as “premature” and lacking “evidentiary support,” he did not rule on the underlying motion to dismiss.

Continue reading