On April 2, 2015, Ohio U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman ruled for the plaintiff, Benjamin Maraan, in his Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) case against Dish Network LLC (Dish). Maraan was awarded $12,000 for Dish’s 22 violations of the TCPA. Dish made these 22 calls to Maraan’s grandson’s cell phone using automated dialing technology without his prior express consent. After only about an hour of deliberations, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Maraan, and recommended that the court award the maximum penalty for each TCPA violation – that is $500 each. Judge Bowman added an additional $1,000 to the jury’s $11,000 statutory damages for to phone calls that Dish had made willingly and knowingly.
This brings to close Maraan’s suit filed back in June 2013. Dish purports that it was legitimately trying to contact a customer who had a delinquent bill, and that the calls to Maraan’s grandson were simply a mistake. Businesses that are aware of the stringent TCPA regulations and that properly document customer consent so as not to make calls like this, will be most likely to avoid the high costs of TCPA violations.