February 2020 - Call Compliance News
California Consumer Protection Act
On February 10, 2020, the California Attorney General issued proposed revisions to its proposed regulations implementing the California Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”). See https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/privacy/ccpa-notice-of-mod-020720.pdf?.
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Marks v. Crunch San Diego, LLC that a dialing system could be an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) even if it just stored or produced telephone numbers. Gadelhak v. AT&T Servs. The judge in Gadelhak ruled that a dialing system must use a random or sequential number generator to be an ATDS.
Comment: This is a great ruling for Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) defendants.
Third Circuit Court of Appeals
The Third Circuit has ruled that a defendant in a TCPA case admitted the facts in discovery when it failed to respond to plaintiff’s requests for admission. Shelton v. Fast Advance Funding, LLC. Plaintiff alleged Fast Advance Funding had called his cell phone 22 times even though his number was on the national “do-not-call” registry and he had requested not to receive calls from Fast Advance Funding. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that by failing to respond to requests for admission “defendant effectively admitted all allegations”.
Comment: It is extremely important to timely respond to pleadings and discovery requests or obtain an extension from the court or bad things can happen.
U.S. Department of Justice
Attorney General William Barr has charged four Chinese hackers with being responsible for the Equifax data breach from July 2017. The theft involved the financial records of more than 100 million Americans, and Equifax settled with state and federal regulators for at least $650 million.
A California court has dismissed a TCPA class action case brought against Postmates alleging it sent unsolicited texts offering recipients jobs. Rogers v. Postmates, Inc. The court ruled the texts were not sent by Postmates, nor was Postmates vicariously liable for the company that did send the texts, BirdDog Media, LLC’s actions.
A Washington court has affirmed that calls from Washington State’s official Medicaid programs to individuals who qualify for Medicaid benefits were for “emergency purposes” and therefore exempt from the TCPA’s cell phone call ban. Dennis v. Amerigroup Washington, Inc. The call, described as a “benefit retention call”, alerted the recipient regarding a renewal deadline. The court noted that calls related to healthcare can qualify under the TCPA’s emergency exemption based on the “myriad ramifications of a sudden loss of insurance coverage”.