Kaiser Permanente Automated Call Class Action Lawsuit
By Jessica Tyner
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protects people from getting unsolicited cell phone calls and text messages. The nuances of the TCPA are great, but in general, if a person doesn’t sign up for phone calls or texts, there’s a good chance a business is breaking the law. As TCPA class action lawsuits heat up around the country and include big players like NBA teams, the latest lawsuit is focused on healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente. In late April 2013, Kaiser was hit with a TCPA class action lawsuit for contacting consumers using an automated messaging system.
According to the latest lawsuit, Kaiser called a California resident who never consented to receive phone calls. Plaintiff Rafael David Sherman says that Kaiser called him using an automatic message 90 days after cancelling his insurance with the company. The call was an advertisement for Kaiser’s services, which is considered a marketing call — and violates TCPA law.
The Illegal Side of Automated Calls
Most people have received automated messages from businesses. The reason Sherman’s lawsuit is valid is because cancelling services automatically revokes any right the business has to market or attempt to sell their services. If a person is an active member or client of an organization, that may imply that the business has a right to reach out with marketing efforts. However, if a person has cancelled their membership or never joined, that violates TCPA rules.
Cell phone consent has been an up and coming player in TCPA lawsuits, and it seems like Sherman has solid ground to stand on. Automated solicitation calls are illegal because the recipient may be charged for the call. In general, companies are charged $1,500 per automated call and it’s designed as a fine steep enough to prevent future calls. Thus far, Kaiser hasn’t commented on the lawsuit.
Plaintiff Looks for Others to Join Class Action Lawsuit
Sherman is actively seeking other Kaiser TCPA victims, which he estimates to be in the “tens of thousands.” In addition to the standard $1,500 per violation, he’s also asking for an additional $500 per Kaiser victim for negligence. If Sherman succeeds in finding thousands of people like him, Kaiser might be facing some very steep penalties in court. However, it’s too soon to tell if Sherman will succeed in rallying the troops.
According to Sherman’s lawyer, getting automated unsolicited calls is pretty common, but most people don’t realize they’re illegal. Kaiser is by no means the only business to blatantly violate TCPA rules. However, it takes a knowledgeable person like Sherman to take action and put a stop to illegal activities like this.
Have You Received an Unsolicited, Automatic Message?
If you’ve received an automatic message from a business on your cell phone that was unsolicited, you might have a TCPA legal claim. If you ever receive a message and it’s in your voicemail, save it. It’s much easier to pursue a TCPA lawsuit with solid evidence.
Find out more about your rights at the Text Message Spam, Cell Phone Call TCPA Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Investigation. You can receive a free TCPA claim from a knowledgeable TCPA attorney, and you can learn more about what constitutes a violation of the law.
Updated May 8th, 2013
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