Keep up with the latest developments and legal issues in the telecommunications and emerging technology sectors, with exclusive access to a comprehensive collection of telecommunications law news,...
Two companies on whose behalf telephone solicitations were made may be held liable for those calls under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, according to an Aug. 14 decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, which applied a recent declaratory ruling by the Federal Communications Commission interpreting the statute's “on behalf of” language (Mey v. Monitronics Int'l, Inc., N.D. W.Va., No. 5:11-cv-00090-IMK-JSK, 8/14/13).
Diana Mey brought suit against Versatile Marketing Solutions, Inc. for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. §227, stemming from its repeated calls to her number, despite it being listed on the national Do Not Call Registry. Because the calls were made on behalf of Monitronics International, Inc. and UTC Fire and Security Americas Corp., Inc., she sought to have them held vicariously liable.
while a seller does not generally “initiate” calls made through a third-party telemarketer within the meaning of the TCPA, it nonetheless may be held vicariously liable under federal common law principles of agency for violations of either section 227(b) or section 227(c) that are committed by third-party telemarketers.
Dish Network, LLC, 28 F.C.C.Rcd. 6574.
Applying that ruling to the current case, Judge Irene M. Keeley concluded that Mey has clearly met her burden at summary judgment, as it evident that the calls were made “on behalf of” Monitronics and UTC. As such, both may be potentially liable under §227(c).
This conclusion, she added, is not changed by any of the defendants' arguments. Specifically, neither has shown that the ruling “somehow exceeds the FCC's power to interpret the TCPA,” and they are not excluded from liability under the statute because they are “manufacturers,” not “sellers.” With regard to this latter argument, she explained that the FCC defined “seller” to mean “the person or entity on whose behalf a telephone call or message is initiated …,” and the two are thus sellers.
As such, the court denied the defendants' motions for partial summary judgment.
Text of the court's decision is at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Mey_v_Monitronics_International_Inc_et_al_Docket_No_511cv00090_ND -- at Bloomberg Law's website.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)