Class Action TCPA Suit Filed Against Extended Warranty Telemarketers
Vehicle Protection Specialists and Auto Protehct named in lawsuit along with CarGuard Administration
On Thursday, April 16th a class action lawsuit was filed against CarGuard Administration, Inc., Vehicle Protection Specialists LLC and AutoProtecht LLC. The complaint, with lead Plaintiffs Joseph Barrett and Matthew Silverman, alleges that telemarketers Vehicle Protection Specialists and Auto Protecht were retained by CarGuard Administration to market CarGuard's extended warranties, and that marketing was in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The calls received by Plaintiff were sent for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services as it seeks to have him sign up for CarGuard’s services. This message therefore qualified as telemarketing.
The filing claims that Auto Protecht and Vehicle Protection Specialists sent numerous calls to residential phone numbers that are registered on the National Do Not Call List.
Barrett and Silverman are both residents of Massachusetts.
CarGuard Administration, Inc. was incorporated in 2015 and is headquartered in Overland Park, KS. Corporate filings show that Elijah Norton was removed as the company's Chairman, Director, and President earlier this year.
Vehicle Protection Specialists LLC is a Nevada LLC headquartered in Irvine, CA which was formed in 2013. Daniel Laurent is listed as the company's Managing Member.
Auto Protecht LLC, formed in late 2018, is a California LLC based in Orange, CA. Andrew Engle and Casey Schilling are listed as the company's members.
The filing alleges that Barrett's cell phone, which is registered on the National Do Not Call Registry, was called several times in early March 2020, promoting CarGuard's products. Barrett claims that the patterns in the calls were that of a predictive dialer which transfers calls to a live operator once a human answers a call.
Barrett purchased a service contract from the caller, which the plaintiff claims ultimately sent a confirmation email from a domain registered to Vehicle Protection Specialists.
Plaintiff Silverman claims his experience in late January 2020 was similar to that of Barrett, except that he ultimately received email correspondence from domains associated with both Vehicle Protection Specialists and Auto Protecht.
Even though the company did not initiate the alleged telemarketing calls, CarGuard was brought into the suit due to the fact that the FCC rules "rules generally establish that the party on whose behalf a solicitation is made bears ultimate responsibility for any violations."
In May of 2013, according to the suit, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling stating that a corporation or other entity that contracts out its telephone marketing "may be held vicariously liable under federal common law principles of agency for violations . . . that are committed by third-party telemarketers."
The complaint seeks statutory damages of $1,500 per call for every call received by the lead plaintiffs and other members of the class.
A copy of the complaint can be found here.
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