January 23, 2017

Suing Over Safety? TCPA Lawsuits Go Too Far

When Honda found out that some of its vehicles’ Takata-made airbags were dangerous and potentially deadly, they did the responsible thing and called every Honda customer with an urgent recall notice.

Now, a clever trial lawyer has found a way to sue the company Honda hired to make those phone calls, citing Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violations. That’s right: suing over a responsible effort to protect people.

If this sounds misguided – or crazy – it is.

Congress passed the TCPA back in 1991 to address concerns about the high volume of marketing telephone calls that were interrupting families at the dinner table. No one disputes that the law served an important role in protecting consumers.

When the law was created in 1991, however, modern technologies, such as smart phones, were not considered, considering smart phones weren’t invented until 2007.

Now, with texts and smart phones as the dominant method of electronic communication, today the world is a very different place…but the TCPA is exactly the same. And no one loves to exploit an outdated law more than plaintiffs’ attorneys.  

Product recalls like Honda’s are not annoying marketing ploys. They are a serious, potentially life-protecting responsibility of manufacturers. The TCPA rightly protects calls that are made for emergency purposes.

It’s time to update the TCPA – a law that was written before cell phones existed – and put an end to the lawsuit harassment it has enabled.


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