The Northern District of Illinois recently granted a TCPA defendant’s motion to strike class action allegations, reasoning that individual questions of consent and the availability of the established business relationship (“EBR”) defense made the claims unsuitable for class treatment. The case is Sorsby v. TruGreen L.P., 2023 WL 130505 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 9, 2023).
The plaintiff alleged that, after cancelling her TruGreen lawn-care service and telling TruGreen not to call her, she received numerous calls from TruGreen to a number that was on the National Do-Not-Call Registry and should have been on TruGreen’s internal Do-Not-Call list. TruGreen moved to strike the class allegations, arguing that plaintiff could not satisfy Rule 23’s requirements of typicality, commonality, and predominance. The court agreed and struck the class allegations.
The court explained that the TCPA does not prohibit solicitations to customers with whom a business has an EBR. Although the named plaintiff claimed to have terminated her own EBR, the availability of the EBR defense as to other class members was inherently individualized and not capable of being determined on a classwide basis.