October 30, 2020

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Suing Spouse For TCPA Indemnity Falls Flat

Testing the limits of TCPA indemnity, a defendant recently attempted to make an indemnity claim against the plaintiff’s husband for the defendant’s alleged TCPA violations.  The Court used the opportunity to explain the elements of a TCPA claim and clarify the scope of TCPA indemnity.  The decision in Anthony v. Progressive Leasing, may complicate future defendants’ attempts to assert TCPA indemnity.  No. 1:19-cv-04431-TWP-MJD, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105846 (S.D. Ind. June 16, 2020).

Plaintiff in that case sued the defendant for allegedly making unauthorized phone calls to her cell phone “in its attempt to collect a debt from a third party,” her husband.   The defendant explained that the husband had represented the plaintiff’s number “to be his home telephone number” and that he had authorized the calls.  Despite that, the court rejected the defendant’s  indemnity claim against the husband.  Critically, the Court emphasized, plaintiff’s claims related to debt collection calls made after she revoked consent.  And, moreover, the Court cited numerous decisions holding that the TCPA does not create an affirmative cause of action for contribution or indemnification.

Though suing a spouse for indemnity from the TCPA is creative; it did not work this time and the decision explains why it is unlikely to work in future TCPA litigation.

© Copyright 2020 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 170
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About this Author

Brent Owen, Squire Patton Boggs, Denver, public lands attorney, natural resources lawyer
Associate

Brent represents clients on a range of matters, with an emphasis on complex commercial litigation, public lands and natural resources law. Brent joined Squire Patton Boggs after a two-year stint at a large regional firm. He has significant litigation experience – including second-chairing a federal jury trial on behalf of a prisoner asserting a First Amendment claim. Additionally, Brent has handled a range of appellate matters, including drafting briefs to the Colorado Court of Appeals, Colorado Supreme Court, and Tenth Circuit.

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