In recent years, the number of private actions filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA” or the “Act”) has risen sharply, but perhaps more concerning is that litigants are using the Act to target an increasingly broad range of industries. Companies that violate the TCPA’s always-changing and often confusing provisions, which both the FCC and private litigants may enforce, are liable for up to $500 per violation and up to $1,500 for each violation found to be willful. Because there is no cap on these statutory fines, the potential damages in a class action based on a less-than-careful, large-scale telemarketing campaign can easily climb into the tens of millions of dollars. In one recent and noteworthy example, Capital One and other defendants agreed to pay $75 million to settle a class action alleging TCPA violations—the largest settlement of its kind. There are very good reasons to be concerned.
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