Auto Protection Club Sued for Alleged TCPA Violations
Class-action lawsuit filed against extended warranty seller in US District Court
Extended car warranty seller Greenlight Auto Protection of St. Charles, Missouri which does business as Auto Protection Club stands accused of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in a class-action lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Missouri - Eastern Division of United States District Court.
Upon information and belief, some or all of the calls the Defendants made to the Plaintiff's telephone number were made using an 'automatic telephone dialing system' which has the capacity to store and produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator or an artificial or prerecorded voice.
Lead Plaintiff Mollie Nolan filed the lawsuit in June 2020, accusing the Defendants of numerous robocalls to her cell phone starting in November of 2019 using "spoofed" numbers which she claims violates the TCPA as well as chapter 407 the Missouri Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was signed into law in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush, and restricts telemarketing calls and the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded voice messages. The act has been revised several times, including in 2003 to establish a national Do-Not-Call registry.
Former South Carolina Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, the sponsor of the TCPA who passed away in 2019, once said that robocalls are "the scourge of modern civilization, they wake us up in the morning; they interrupt our dinner at night; they force the sick and elderly out of bed; they hound us until we want to rip the telephone out of the wall."
Telemarketers, including extended auto warranty telemarketers, have a history of being sued for violating the TCPA dating back to the early-2000s.
Multiple Extended Warranty Robocalls
Plaintiff Mollie claims to have received at least 125 calls from the Defendants which she did not consent to receiving. The suit describes the nature of the calls as unusual, stating that when she answered the calls, "there was not a human salesperson on the line, but rather a long pause and a click occurred before any human was connected."
According to the complaint, the Plaintiff sent an email to the Defendants on February 14, 2020 "demanding that all phone calls cease," however, the "Defendants continue to place automated calls to Plaintiff." The filing goes on to accuse the Defendants of intentionally harassing Nolan, "regularly calling up to four times in one day and calling several days in a row."
Nolan's suit claims that the Defendants "engaged in a business strategy that includes marketing through illegal telemarketing calls," and that they "willfully and knowingly violated the TCPA."
Class-Action Named Defendants
Named Defendants in the class-action lawsuit are:
• Greenlight Auto Protection doing business as Auto Protection Club located in St. Charles, Missouri,
• Joseph Walski, President, owner and organizer of Auto Protection Club
• Owen McCullough, owner and organizer of Auto Protection Club
• Jason Cox, owner and organizer of Auto Protection Club
The suit seeks an injunction against the Defendants prohibiting them from future TCPA violations, treble damages of $1500 for each call made to the member of the class that violated the TCPA, an "award of costs and such further relief as the Court may deem just and proper", attorney's fees and expenses, pre and post-judgement interest of 9%, and additional damages for allegedly violating Chapter 407 of the Missouri Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
A copy of the class-action suit can be found here.
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