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TCPA becoming powerful tool against unwanted cell phone messages

August 12, 2014

​Fenwick & West litigation chair Rodger Cole was featured on the front page of the Daily Journal discussing the reported 69 percent increase last year in lawsuits claiming violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

“It’s a lucrative area for the plaintiff’s bar because the statute is a strict liability statute, with no injury required,” Cole said. “The plaintiff lawyers use the TCPA against technology that wasn’t even contemplated by the smartest of entrepreneurs when the TCPA was passed.”

The law, originally designed to address spam faxes, has been extended in recent years to texting and other technologies.

“Now it’s being applied to new technologies which in my view are relatively harmless,” Cole added. “A text message saying you have a doctor’s appointment or an oil service next week is something I like, not an invasion of privacy.”

Statutory damages under the TCPA are $500 per call – a figure that can triple if the violations are judged as willful.