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

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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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