The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) continues to be a mine field for companies and a boon for class action lawyers.
The latest defendant is Wal-Mart, which in a proposed class action filed in federal district court in Georgia, is alleged to have violated the TCPA when it made at least 33 unsolicited automated calls (a/k/a robocalls) to the plaintiff’s cell phone over a span of eleven days.
The proposed class action requests damages for the proposed class of any individual in the U.S. who has received an automated telephone call from Wal-Mart in the last four years without consent. The TCPA generally prohibits automated calls to a cell phone with prior consent.
This is the second suit against Wal-Mart alleging violations of the TCPA in the last six months. In September, Wal-Mart was sued by another plaintiff alleging that it placed multiple calls to his cell phone without his consent asking him to fill his prescriptions at Wal-Mart when he switched to another pharmacy. A federal judge in Florida rejected class certification in that case, but allowed the plaintiff until mid-July to try to obtain certification.
These cases reiterate the importance of building TCPA compliance into any marketing plan.