Plaintiffs in Illinois, who’d previously filed suit in U.S. district court accusing the owners of a medical marketing company of violating their rights by sending them text messages lost their Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) case last week. A judge ruled that the defendants didn’t violate any laws in sending medical marketing texts as they didn’t utilize an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) to source the numbers that the messages were sent to.
The federal judge presiding over the case in the Northern District of Illinois wrote in his summary judgment that text messaging systems have to be capable of sequentially or randomly generating phone numbers to be considered as an ATDS. The judge noted that the platform that was utilized in the Illinois case Smith v. Premier Dermatology did not qualify as an ATDS and he was, therefore, entering summary judgment for the defendant.
Before the judge entered his ruling, the plaintiffs had cited the case Marks v. Crunch San Diego to justify why they believed that the system used by the defendant violated the TCPA. In that case, a software that was capable of automatically dialing stored phone numbers had been used. Evidence presented in the case showed that it wasn’t capable of generating sequential or random numbers itself and not an ATDS.
Ultimately, the judge presiding over the matter seemed to find the judge’s decision in the case of ACA International v. FCC to be more relevant to the one at hand. In that 2018 case, the presiding federal court judge ruled that the alleged ATDS system used did not align with what’s described in the TCPA. This is very much the same as the ruling the judge made in this Smith v. Premier Dermatology case.
If there’s anything that you should know about the TCPA, it is that there’s a very fine line between what’s considered to be a legitimate action under this law and what’s deemed to be a violation of it. This is why you should consult with an attorney in Vadnais Heights if you feel that your rights have been violated under this law. Your Minnesota lawyer can advise you whether that’s indeed the case.