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3rd Circ. TCPA Ruling Saps Spokeo Defenses In Class Actions

July 12, 2017

Law360
By Dan Packel

A recent Third Circuit ruling allowing a woman to bring a suit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act over a single pre-recorded message left on her voicemail shows that defendants cannot count on the U.S. Supreme Court’s pivotal Spokeo decision to end consumer protection class actions, experts say.

The appellate panel reversed a district court ruling when it sided with lead plaintiff Noreen Susinno, who claimed her privacy was violated by an unauthorized call from fitness club Work Out World Inc. in 2015. The judges concluded that the type of injury claimed by Susinno was squarely identified by Congress in the TCPA, which directly addresses and prohibits pre-recorded calls in the interest of protecting privacy.

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“Courts around the country have dealt with Spokeo in the context of alleged TCPA violations,” said John Papianou, the co-chair of the litigation department at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP. “They’ve almost uniformly found that a violation is sufficient to confer standing.”

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