Third Circuit

A man who alleges he received an unauthorized prerecorded call on the landline he shared with his roommate has standing to proceed with his lawsuit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled.

Mark Leyse’s lawsuit against Bank of America alleges that a telemarketer advertising Bank of America credit cards called a residential landline registered to Genevieve Dutriaux, Leyse’s roommate, using a prerecorded message. Among other things, the TCPA generally prohibits making a non-emergency call “to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice” unless the caller has “the prior express consent of the called party” or the FCC has exempted the type of call at issue. The TCPA further states that “[a] person or entity” may sue based on a violation of that restriction, and may seek $500 in statutory damages for each violation (or $1,500 if the plaintiff proves the violation was willful or knowing).

The parties agreed that the telemarketer intended to call Dutriaux, who was listed as the subscriber to the phone line. Accordingly, Bank of America moved to dismiss Leyse’s lawsuit, arguing that Leyse was not the “called party” and thus had no standing to sue under the TCPA. Courts have disagreed on whether a TCPA plaintiff must be the “called party,” and if so whether the “called party” is the same as the “intended recipient.”
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