TCPA Lawsuit Tests Definition of ATDS After ACA International

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June 20, 2018

TCPA Lawsuit

Aaron’s Inc. (“Aarons”), a prominent lessor of furniture, appliances and electronics, was recently named as a defendant in a nationwide class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  This TCPA lawsuit is one of many recent cases that involve the definition of automatic telephone dialing systems (“ATDS”) within the meaning of the TCPA.

What are the allegations in the TCPA lawsuit?

The putative class representative alleges that Aarons called his cellphone without his consent and that when he did not answer these calls, Aarons left prerecorded voicemail messages for him.  He further alleges that he called Aarons to request that the phone calls cease, but that despite revoking his consent, Aarons purportedly continued to call his cellphone anyway.  Finally, the Plaintiff claims that all calls placed to his cellphone, and to the cellphones of each putative class member, were made using an ATDS.

Interested parties will be watching this case to see how the court interprets the term ATDS in the wake of the D.C. Circuit’s recent ruling in ACA International.  As we have previously blogged, the decision in ACA International vacated the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) overly-expansive definition of the term in the 2015 Omnibus Order.  As a result of ACA International, courts have been left grappling to determine what equipment is an ATDS and what is not, while the FCC seeks public comment on a new ATDS definition.

Taking Steps to Avoid a TCPA Lawsuit

In the post-ACA International regulatory environment, it is critical for businesses to understand the scope of the TCPA’s restrictions before commencing any telemarketing campaign.  The staggering exposure to liability that companies face for TCPA violations makes it imperative to have telemarketing practices and procedures examined by experienced counsel in order to mitigate risk.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic or need to review your telemarketing practices, please e-mail us at, or call us at (212) 246-0900.

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.  Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.

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