The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) seeks to protect consumers from unwanted fax advertisements, and Sommers Schwartz’s Jason Thompson is one of its chief enforcers.
Last week, a federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan entered a judgment in favor of a class of plaintiffs who received more than 10,000 fax advertisements from Lake City Industrial Products without permission – a clear violation of the TCPA.
In ruling against Lake City’s motion to dismiss, U.S. District Court Judge Gordon J. Quist rejected arguments that the TCPA is not a strict liability statute, and held that the Act does not require the sender to have intent in order to impose liability. The court based its ruling in part on an admission by Lake City’s president that he personally responded to an advertisement from the vendor that ultimately distributed the advertisement, purchased VoIP lines to accommodate the anticipated response, completed a questionnaire from the vendor that was used to design the ad featuring the Lake City product, and “reviewed a draft fax, revised it, and approved it for sending to approximately 10,000 targeted fax numbers.”
Additionally, Judge Quist rejected Lake City’s argument that $5,254,500 judgment in favor of the plaintiffs might bankrupt the company.