A Sacramento-based legal group is applauding the dismissal with prejudice of a class action lawsuit against an Internet advertising company that allegedly violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
California plaintiff Suzanne Knorr has voluntarily dismissed a July lawsuit against defendant elocal USA LLC, a Pennsylvania company she alleged sent her numerous unsolicited text messages that violated the TCPA.
Since the Northern California Record reported on the suit three months ago, detailing how Knorr sought a trial by jury for monetary loss, legal fees and other relief, the plaintiff reached an agreement with the company according to a Sept. 21 motion.
Knorr’s attorney, Blake Duggar, did not respond to email or phone call requests on what agreement was reached. However, Julie Griffiths, regional director of the Sacramento-based California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, did ave something to say about the matter.
“I have seen too many of these TCPA lawsuits in the recent years and they are clearly designed to clog our court systems with even more frivolous lawsuits,” Griffiths told the Northern California Record in an email.
According to the original complaint, Knorr’s cellular telephone number was registered on the National Do Not Call Registry, but that didn’t stop eLocal from texting Knorr more than once in May 2017 soliciting free legal advice.
“While it is understandable that someone would want to put a stop to unwanted contact there must be a better way than to file a class action lawsuit,” Griffiths said of Knorr’s immediate attempt to file suit against the internet advertising company.
Knorr was not the only one to receive the messages. “The defendant sent auto-dialed text messages to thousands of consumers who fall into the definition of the classes. Members of the classes can be easily identified through defendant’s records,” according to the complaint.
Without human intervention, eLocal allegedly sent the auto-dialed text messages using equipment capable of calculating telephone numbers by a sequential number generator. Knorr wanted $500 for each text sent to her unlawfully.
Like the lawsuit, the alleged violations are also a way to abuse the court system, according to the CALA.
“I would also caution governments against passing laws that assign particular dollar amounts per violation when the remedy is found through the courts,” Griffiths said. “That breeds more lawsuits because the onus is unfairly put on the business to deny wrong doing rather than on the plaintiff to prove wrongdoing.”