Recent Court Ruling Lowers Threshold for Obtaining Treble Statutory Damages in Class Actions Brought Pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act


The Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulates certain forms of direct marketing - including phone, fax, SMS and MMS. It provides for statutory damages of either $500 or $1,500 per violation, depending on whether the violations were willful. The Supreme Court has defined willfulness (under FCRA) to mean intentional or reckless; however, this recent opinion by Judge Zagel (in the N.D. of Illinois) equates a volitional act (i.e., the act of sending the fax) to an intentional one and thus opines that willful (trebled) statutory damages are appropriate.

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