JULY 2019

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a trial judge’s ruling that $1.6 billion in damages in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class action was so oppressive that it violated the due process clause of the United States Constitution.  Golan v. FreeEats.com, Inc.

 Comment: The Court still awarded the plaintiffs $32 million, so defendant still faces potentially catastrophic damages.

 Federal Communications Commission

The FCC is expected to implement two changes to caller ID rules prohibiting entities outside the United States from knowingly transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with intent to defraud.  The rule would also expand caller ID to any voice or text messaging service.

 California

The California Senate is considering a bill (AB 1202) which would regulate data brokers, defined as businesses that knowingly collect and sell to third parties the personal information of a consumer with whom the businesses do not have a direct relationship.  The bill has passed the Assembly and now is being considered by the Senate.  Consumer reporting agencies and financial institutions would be exempt, but other data brokers would be required to register and pay a fee prior to acting as a data broker regarding California citizens’ information. 

 Illinois

An Illinois judge has refused to certify a class of persons who received calls from the Hertz Corporation.  Tillman v. Hertz Corp.  Plaintiff’s mother rented a car from Hertz and listed the plaintiff’s telephone number in her application.  When she did not return the car, Hertz called the number.  The Court ruled that the plaintiff’s claims were not adequate or typical of a class of persons who received calls from Hertz after requesting not to receive them and denied certification of the class.

 New Hampshire

New Hampshire has amended its caller ID statute (HB 577) to specifically prohibit transmission of misleading, inaccurate, or deceptive information.  The law takes effect January 1, 2020.