Earlier this month, a Louisiana federal judge granted final approval of a $9.25 million settlement between Advanced Care Scripts Inc. (Advanced Care) and a class of plaintiffs—led by Jefferson Radiation Oncology LLC (Jefferson Radiation), a Louisiana-based treatment facility. Plaintiffs alleged that Advanced Care sent fax advertisements that violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), by failing to include the federally mandated opt-out notice. The class of potentially 24,000 members consisted of anyone who received faxes from Advanced Care or its vendors that failed to include the opt-out provision, reaching all the way back to April 29, 2011.
Advanced Care attempted to place liability on WestFax Inc.(WestFax)—the third party vendor it hired to transmit the faxes—claiming WestFax represented that the opt-out notices were included. However, that attempt fell short when, after moving for summary judgment, all claims against WestFax were dismissed in early July.
This case illustrates that failure to adhere to the TCPA’s stringent requirements can result in major financial ramifications for businesses. Businesses should be sure that autodialed faxes are being sent in compliance with the TCPA’s requirements. Moreover, there is another takeaway from this settlement–businesses may encounter difficulties when attempting to assign liability to telecommunications companies.