JULY 7, 2015 – STAMFORD, CT – Lemberg Law (www.Do-Not-Call-Complaints.com) has obtained a $229,500 summary judgment against Time Warner Cable for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In commenting on King vs. Time Warner Cable (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 14 Civ. 2018 (AKH)), consumer attorney Sergei Lemberg said, “We are pleased that the court rejected Time Warner Cable’s argument that the company should be released from liability because the calls were made to a reassigned cell phone number.”
Indeed, the court not only ruled that Time Warner Cable placed 153 robocalls to Ms. King’s cell phone using an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS), which violated the TCPA, but that it did so “knowingly and willfully,” tripling the statutory damages from $500 per call to $1,500 per call.
Time Warner Cable asserted that the interactive voice response system (IVR) used to call Ms. King didn’t qualify as an ATDS under the law, that only 70 of the calls connected, and that the company had Ms. King’s consent to call. According to the court ruling, “Each of these arguments fails.”
Time Warner Cable argued that its telephone system wasn’t an ATDS because the list of called numbers wasn’t random or sequential, and that the list of called numbers could have been created by a human. The court wrote, “TWC ignores that face that the lists were not created by a human. In fact, it has not identified any human involvement at all in any state of the customer selection, list compilation, or dialing process.”
The court also ruled that unanswered calls count as violations under the TCPA, ruling, “TWC violated the statute each time it placed a call using its ATDS without consent, regardless of whether the call was answered by a person, a machine, or not at all.”
The consent question revolved around 153 calls made to Ms. King after October 3, 2013, when she told a Time Warner Cable representative that she was not the person Time Warner Cable was trying to reach and asked the company to stop calling her. According to Lemberg, “Not only did Time Warner Cable continue to call after our client asked them to stop, but they kept calling even after we served them with a summons and complaint for this lawsuit in March 2014.”
The court agreed, ruling, “Defendant harassed Plaintiff with robo-calls until she had to resort to a lawsuit to make the calls stop, and even then TWC could not be bothered to update the information in its IVR system. The calls placed after March 26, 2014 are particularly egregious violations of the TCPA and indicate that TWC simply did not take this lawsuit seriously. Treble damages are unquestionably appropriate to reflect the seriousness of TWC’s willful violations.”
Lemberg said that the entire firm, including lead attorneys Jenny DeFrancisco and Vlad Hirnyk, were elated by the victory. “We’re thrilled that Ms. King got the justice she deserves,” he said. “And we’re proud every time we can hold big businesses accountable when they trample consumer rights.”