Internet Association Asks FCC To Distinguish Internet Platforms From Their Users For TCPA Purposes

In June, the Internet Association (“IA”)—which represents Internet giants such as eBay, Facebook, Google, Amazon, LinkedIn and Twitter, among others—suggested that the FCC clarify that Internet companies which “facilitate their users to communicate” are not “not caller[s] or sender[s] (or the initiator[s] of a call or text) for purposes of the TCPA.” In a letter dated June 11, 2015, the IA addressed what it viewed as an uncertainty under TCPA law: namely the extent to which any email and/or social media platform may potentially be liable under the TCPA for the calls or messages initiated by any one of the enormous number of users of the platform.

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Somewhere Out There, a Certain Gecko Lets Out a Sigh of Relief

Judge Kathleen M. Williams of the Southern District of Florida handed GEICO a decisive victory on September 29, 2014, when she denied a renewed motion to certify a class of individuals who purportedly received robo-calls from GEICO because she found that the plaintiff failed to provide sufficient proof of numerosity.

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Court Rules That Settlement Term Sheet Is Not Worth The Paper It’s Written On

Judge Amy J. St. Eve of the Northern District of Illinois recently held that a purported settlement agreement in a putative class action filed by Craftwood Lumber Co. against Interline Brands, Inc. was not enforceable. See Craftwood Lumber Co. v. Interline Brands Inc., No. 11-4462 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 23, 2014). Judge St. Eve held that the “Term Sheet” executed at the end of the parties’ mediation session lacked sufficient detail to establish that a binding and enforceable settlement had been reached.

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W.D. Wash. Adopts Preponderance of the Evidence Standard for Elements of Class Cert., Rejects Numerosity Experts

The Western District of Washington recently adopted a “preponderance of the evidence” standard for establishing the prerequisites of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and denied class certification in a TCPA case because the plaintiffs’ expert testimony did not meet the rigors of even a preponderance standard. See Southwell v. Mortgage Investors Corp. of Ohio, No. 13-1289 , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112362 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 12, 2014).

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Say Goodnight, Facey: Twitter, Path File Amicus Brief in Ninth Circuit TCPA Appeal

The Los Angeles Lakers found allies recently in Twitter and Path, when the social media companies sided with the Lakers to oppose an appeal from a dismissal of a putative class action asserting TCPA claims based on allegedly unsolicited text messages.  See Emanuel v. The Los Angeles Lakers, Inc., No. 13-55678 (9th Cir.)

During a 2012 preseason game, the Lakers invited patrons to “TEXT your message to 525377” if they wanted to have a personal message displayed on the Staples Center jumbotron.  David Emanuel did just that, sending a text message that read: “I love you Facey.  Happy Date Night.”  He then received a text message from the team that advised him that the team had received, but might not display, his note:  “Thnx!  Txt as many times as you like.  Not all msgs go on screen.  Txt ALERTS for Lakers News alerts.  Msg&Data Rates May Apply.  Txt STOP to quit.  Txt INFO for info.”  (Plaintiff then texted “STOP” and received another text message confirming receipt of his request, which he does not claim violated the TCPA.)

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