News
November 30, 2018

TCPA Lawsuits are HOW Expensive??

The anecdotes speak for themselves. We’ve seen time and time again how staggeringly high settlements and judgments are in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation, and how creative professional plaintiffs and entrepreneurial lawyers can be.

But a new report from the TCPAland blog shows just how expensive TCPA litigation actually is.

Based on data from WebRecon, TCPAland found that the average cost of a TCPA settlement this year was $6,600,000. That’s stunningly high for a law that was intended to be applied mostly in small claims courts. Former U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings (D-SC), a sponsor of the 1991 law, said it was originally intended to help consumers get a set amount of cash in small claims court without an attorney.

But the TCPA is being used by the trial bar to bring major lawsuits. The report found that TCPA class action lawsuit filings are up 21 percent this year over last year. There’s a big difference between small claims and class actions.

The cost to settle this kind of high-dollar litigation can bankrupt a small business. An Illinois federal judge recently ruled that the CEO of a medical supply company was personally liable for $7.8 million in TCPA violations.

While technology has changed a lot since 1991, the TCPA hasn’t, meaning it’s easier than ever to file lawsuits. Look no further than a recent Philadelphia Inquirer story on a 21-year-old college student who has filed at least 45 such suits. According to the story, he’s run elaborate schemes to generate the lawsuits, like one in which “he placed an order, froze the credit-card payment so the company would call back, and sued the same day.”

These stats illustrate how crazy a year it’s been for TCPA litigation. Perhaps the biggest development was the D.C. Circuit’s decision to strike down the Federal Communications Commission’s definition of automated telephone dialing system in the spring. This sparked a number of court decisions trying to find a new definition, including the Ninth Circuit’s recent Marks v. Crunch decision that some say expanded it greatly.

Until the law is clarified and modernized, the abuses will continue and the costs will keep rising. The FCC should clarify the meaning of an automated telephone dialing system in accordance with the plain language of the TCPA, and Congress should act quickly to restore common sense to a clearly broken law.

News "How 6th Circ. May Resolve District Court TCPA Exception Split" Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) News TCPA Defendant Turns Tables, Scores $2.2M Verdict Against “Lawsuit Factory” Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) News Analysis: Florida Robocall Law Could Bring New Wave Of Litigation Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) News Serial Filer On The Hook For $286K In Defense Costs Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) News TCPA Suits Decline Post-Duguid, But Legislative Initiatives May Expand Liability Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
We Use Cookies to Make your Experience Better

What do we use cookies for?

We use cookies and similar technologies to recognize your repeat visits and preferences, as well as to measure the effectiveness of campaigns and analyze traffic. To learn more about cookies, including how to disable them, view our Cookie Policy. By clicking "I Accept" or "X" on this banner, or using our site, you consent to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them.