Settlement In Do Not Call Energy Litigation

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A class action settlement was reached in an energy do not call claim.  The claimants said calls soliciting energy items had been made to multiple cell phones violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (the “TCPA”).   The case is Abramson v. Alpha Gas & Electric, (N.Y 2017),  Case No. 7:15-CV-05299-KMK. The Court  notice says,


This is a Notice of a proposed Settlement in a class action lawsuit Abramson v. Alpha Gas and Electric, LLC, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 15-CV-05299-KMK (the “Action”). The settlement would resolve claims against defendant Alpha Gas and Electric, LLC (“Alpha”) arising from telemarketing calls made by it to cellular telephone numbers in alleged violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (the “TCPA”).


The lawsuit alleges that telemarketing calls made by Alpha to consumers’ cellular telephone numbers violated the TCPA. Alpha has asserted, as a defense in the Action, that it should not be held liable for the calls at issue. This settlement does not resolve that disputed issue, or the disputed question of whether the calls violated the TCPA. The Court has preliminarily certified this matter as a class action for settlement. You are a member of the Settlement Class if you are included in the following:

All persons in the United States who, from July 8, 2011 through November 10, 2016, who subscribed to, used, or who owned any of the phone numbers listed on the Class List and who received phone calls from any of the Released Parties using an automated telephone dialing system, or prerecorded voice, or who were listed on the Do Not Call list or otherwise did not consent to the receipt of such calls, or who otherwise have claims against the Released Parties arising under the TCPA or similar federal, state or local laws governing such matters, including without limitation the claims alleged in the Action,
including calls placed to cell phones without the recipients’ consent.

Have you been a victim of unwanted calls.  Call (973) 598-1980 for a free consultation about your rights.

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Company Liability for Other Making Calls

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Even if discovery shows that a third party agent acting on the defendant’s behalf made the calls in question, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act would still provide for liability. The Supreme Court of the United States recently clarified that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act does provide for vicarious liability. See Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, 136 S.Ct. 663, 673 (2016) (the Federal Communication Commission “has ruled that, under federal common-law principles of agency, there is vicarious liability for TCPA violations . . . and we have no cause to question it”). Other courts agree that “the TCPA can impose liability directly or vicariously upon any person or entity on whose behalf a third party places a call in violation of § 227(b)(1)(A).” Hartley-Culp v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC, 52 F. Supp. 3d 700, 703 (M.D. Pa. 2014); see also Lofton v. Verizon Wireless (VAW) LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34516 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 18, 2015) (“Under the TCPA, a defendant may be held vicariously liable for calls it does not directly initiate ‘under federal common law principles of agency.'”) (quoting In re Joint Petition filed by Dish Network, LLC, 2013 FCC LEXIS 2057 (May 9, 2013) (a seller may be liable for violations by its representatives under a broad range of agency principles, including not only formal agency, but also principles of apparent authority and ratification); Thomas v. Taco Bell Corp., 582 F.App’x 678, 679 (9th Cir. 2014) (“Vicarious liability can provide the basis for liability for a TCPA violation”).

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