A legal paper presented last week at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform Summit argues that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a nuisance for American businesses – small and large – while providing no real protection or relief to consumers.
Becca Wahlquist, partner at DC-based law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, wrote, “What happens when uncapped statutory damages for certain phone calls, texts, and faxes collide with technologies capable of making millions of outbound contacts in the span of minutes? A staggering amount of litigation.”
In her paper, “The Juggernaut of TCPA Litigation: The Problems with Uncapped Statutory Damages,” Wahlquist asserts that the only way to combat the juggernaut is through legislative intervention, specifically, a cap on damages in TCPA suits.
“Other consumer statutes (the Truth in Lending Act , the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act) with statutory damages and no need for proof of actual damages have damages caps for both individual and class actions,” she writes.
Wahlquist notes that the structure of the law allows for consumer attorneys to target businesses with TCPA actions, leading to a growing “cottage industry” of TCPA-focused lawyers. And while TCPA actions are growing very quickly, “It is rare these days to see TCPA litigation brought against its original intended target — abusive telemarketers.”
insideARM will be hosting the first session of a new series, insideCompliance, on November 14. The topic: the TCPA. Book your seat today for insideCompliance: Translating TCPA for Debt Collectors to learn more about this complicated law and the impact on the debt collection industry.