Recent Call to Update TCPA Language Could Curtail TCPA Litigation

The FCC is currently reviewing companies' liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for calls and texts sent to reassigned cell phone numbers. The review comes in response to a petition filed by Rubio's Restaurant Inc. urging the FCC to expand prior express consent to include informational communications to a cell phone number that is received by a subsequent owner of that cell phone number so long as the number was reassigned without the caller’s knowledge. Currently, consent must be obtained from the current owner, and it is very difficult, if not impossible, to learn about reassigned numbers on a timely basis. The petition also asks the FCC to add an affirmative, bad-faith defense that releases companies from liability if it can be shown that the contacted party purposefully delayed or failed to tell the company the number had been reassigned. "Businesses are frustrated by TCPA lawsuits from plaintiffs who acquire a 'recycled' telephone number," said Scott Shaffer in a Law360 article. “If the FCC allows for a good-faith exception when calling or texting recently reassigned numbers, it would slow down the recent avalanche of TCPA litigation.”

Read the entire article here.

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