Philadelphia partner Michael Daly and New York counsel Marsha Indych commented on a pair of Second and Third Circuit rulings addressing the definition of an autodialer for TCPA actions in a Law360 article entitled “TCPA Rulings Give Companies Liability Shield, But No Knockout.”
Mike and Marsha provided insights on the importance of the Third Circuit’s ruling in a case where the plaintiff accused Yahoo of using an automatic telephone dialing system to send him unwanted texts after he purchased a phone with a reassigned number. The ruling focused on whether the service utilized by Yahoo to send the messages had the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers, and on whether human intervention was involved in inputting the numbers that were contacted.
Mike and Marsha noted that the decision “validates the work of courts across the country — like the district court here — that have struggled to apply the FCC’s now-rejected and nearly boundless definition of an autodialer… to equipment and conduct that the statute was never meant to regulate."
They also consider what may happen in similar cases going forward, observing that the decision “exemplifies what will happen in TCPA cases across the country where plaintiffs … are unable to establish that the equipment used to contact them has both the capacity to randomly or sequentially generate telephone numbers and uses that capacity to dial those numbers.”