May 20, 2022

Volume XII, Number 140

Advertisement
Advertisement

May 19, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

May 18, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

May 17, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Tell it to the Jury!: Debt Collector Stuck in TCPA Suit for Sending “Manual” Text Messages

The TCPAWorld remains a dangerous place for folks trying to communicate with their customers using text messages. This is true even in an era when P2P texting is finding increasing favor as a preferred contact channel.

In Greiner v. Cadillac Accounts Receivable Mgmt., Case No. 2:19-cv-12479, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 234221 (E.D. Mich.  November 9, 2020) for instance a Defendant was just denied summary judgment—i.e. the case is headed to a jury—in a case where the Defendant claimed it sent the texts at issue manually.

The Defendant submitted three, apparently conclusory, declarations from witnesses purporting that the texts at issue—debt collection messages—were sent manually. However the declarations did not explain what “manual” meant and, apparently, just declared the messages went manually and stopped. The Court reasoned that the assertion of manual texting in this context was merely a legal conclusion and rejected the evidence outright. So Defendant loses.

It is unclear whether Defendant would have won the case had it introduced proper evidence but… probably.

Adding salt to the wound here—this case started off as a small claims matter. The Defendant removed it to federal court—spent time and money to bring a summary judgment motion.

And lost.

To a pro per.

Greiner has a couple of take aways. One, defense lawyers need to submit proper evidence. And its quality, not quantity. These folks submitted three declarations, but none of them addressed the heart of the issue—what does “manual” mean? They probably could have won the case with a single, properly worded and supported, declaration. Second, the risk remains high in cases involving text messages. Even though the messages were sent “manually” and were plainly targeted to collect a debt—i.e. likely tailored to specific consumers and not mass blasted—the court still sent the issue to a jury to decide. The risk remains real folks. Be cautious and seek consent.

© Copyright 2022 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 350
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Eric Troutman Class Action Attorney
Of Counsel

Eric Troutman is one of the country’s prominent class action defense lawyers and is nationally recognized in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation and compliance. He has served as lead defense counsel in more than 70 national TCPA class actions and has litigated nearly a thousand individual TCPA cases in his role as national strategic litigation counsel for major banks and finance companies. He also helps industry participants build TCPA-compliant processes, policies, and systems.

Eric has built a national litigation practice based upon deep experience, rigorous...

213-689-6510
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement