Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego (Hospital) was hit with a proposed class action in California federal court this week for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for autodialed debt-collection calls to consumers’ cell phones. The complaint states that “[the Hospital], either directly or through their agents, illegally contacted plaintiffs and the class members via their cellular telephones by using an ATDS [(i.e.,an automated telephone dialing system)], thereby causing plaintiffs and the class members to incur certain cellular telephone charges or reduce cellular telephone time for which plaintiffs and the class members previously paid, and invading the privacy of said plaintiffs and the class members.” Plaintiffs allege that they each received a number of autodialed calls and prerecorded messages from the Hospital for debt collection, even after their attorney sent cease and desist letters. Under the TCPA, hospitals are permitted to use autodialed and prerecorded messages for certain emergency purposes and appointment reminders, but otherwise may not do so without prior written consent from the consumer. Debt collection is not one of the exceptions to the rule. Plaintiffs are seeking damages and injunctive relief for negligent and willful violations of the TCPA.
This post was authored by Kathryn Rattigan and is also being shared on our Data Privacy +Security Insider blog. If you’re interested in getting updates on developments affecting data privacy and security, we invite you to subscribe to the blog.