May 26, 2015
Last week, the United States District Court for the Central District of California entered an order granting summary judgment in favor of manufacturer UTC Fire & Security Americas Corporation, Inc. (“UTCFSA”) and dismissed a putative Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class action pending against it. The plaintiff sought to hold UTCFSA liable for the alleged TCPA violations of a distributor that had purchased products from the manufacturer. The plaintiff argued that vicarious TCPA liability should flow from the distributor to the manufacturer. In rejecting this argument, the Court’s summary judgment opinion provides a valuable road map for manufacturers seeking to protect themselves from being held vicariously liable for the TCPA violations of their distributors.
Can a manufacturer be liable for the TCPA violations of a distributor?