Mike Carter reports on a lawsuit filed by a man who got annoyed with Talbots (the women’s clothing chain) for their automated sales call. He sued them for allegedly violating the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Automatic Dialing and Answering Devices Act (WADAD).
The case was dismissed because the judge ruled that a prior business relationship exempted Talbot’s from the prohibition on such calls under the statute. In other words, if you live in Washington and anyone in your family ever had a single commercial interaction or transaction with a business, that business can call you… and call you… and call you?
WADAD is supposed to bar the use of automated dialing and announcing devices for commercial solicitation and is considered among the most stringent phone-solicitation bans in the country.
Cubbage sought to have the lawsuit certified as a class-action, intending to bring in as co-plaintiffs thousands of others who had received the automated call.
But U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle threw out Cubbage’s claim in July, citing a lack of clarity in the state law and an exemption in the federal statute that allows such calls when there is an existing business relationship.
In doing so, Settle may have rendered WADAD unenforceable, according to state attorneys.
“It nullifies the statute,” said Assistant Attorney General Shannon Smith, senior counsel in the office’s Consumer Protection Division. “It’s a very narrow interpretation of the statute, and it eviscerates the whole intent of the Legislature.
Read more in the Seattle Times.