In the TCPA case of Campbell-Ewald Co. v Gomez, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of the consumer.
We had reported on this case back in November of 2015, where Daniel Blynn of Venable, LLC, laid out the facts of the case:
The plaintiff sued Campbell-Ewald, a U.S. Navy contractor hired to provide “multimedia recruiting campaign” services, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) after he received an unsolicited text message from Campbell-Ewald in 2006. Campbell-Ewald admitted fault and, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 68, offered a full settlement of $1,503 to the plaintiff, slightly more than three times the maximum award allowed under the TCPA. But, there is a wrinkle – the plaintiff refused the offer of judgment. That brings us to the Supreme Court, which is considering the following question: “Does a case become moot when a plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief for his claim?”
We appear to now have our answer: It’s a 6-3 “no.” Per the Court (via Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s majority opinion), “Campbell’s settlement bid and Rule 68 offer of judgment, once rejected, had no continuing efficacy. Absent Gomez’s acceptance, Campbell’s settlement offer remained only a proposal, binding neither Campbell nor Gomez. Having rejected Campbell’s settlement bid, and given Campbell’scontinuing denial of liability, Gomez gained no entitlement to the relief Campbell previously offered.”
Chief Justice Roberts countered: “The majority is correct that because Gomez did not accept Campbell’s settlement, it is a ‘legal nullity’ as a matter of contract law. The question, however, is not whether there is a contract; it is whether there is a case or controversy under Article III. If the defendant is willing to give the plaintiff everything he asks for, there is no case or controversy to adjudicate, and the lawsuit is moot.”
insideARM will have continued, in-depth analysis coverage of this case, and what it means for the industry, in the coming days.