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Chicago Attorneys Achieve Dismissal of Federal Class Action Case Under the TCPA

Chicago attorneys Jason E. Hunter and Bryan E. Curry successfully raised a Motion to Dismiss against a federal class action complaint brought in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The Plaintiff alleged that he, and others similarly situated, received unwanted “robocalls” from an Illinois security alarm monitoring company in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).

The Plaintiff, a former employee of a Birmingham, Alabama truck rental business, continued to receive telephone calls after his employment with that business ended. While he was an employee, the Plaintiff was included on a list of persons to be notified in the event of a security alarm activation at the business premises. Plaintiff further alleged that the defendant alarm monitoring company used an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”), a type of equipment specifically defined under the TCPA, to place the calls to his personal telephone number in violation of federal law.

The Motion to Dismiss cited recent 7th Circuit and United States Supreme Court case law, challenging that the Plaintiff failed to allege the defendant’s telephone system lacked the capacity to use a random or sequential number generator to either store or produce phone numbers to be called. In May, the Supreme Court clarified that these specific features are necessary components to qualify the dialing equipment as an ATDS under the TCPA.

Because the facts contained in the Class Action Complaint did not raise the possibility of the Defendant’s use of a prohibited ATDS dialing system above the “speculative level,” the Court dismissed the Complaint.

The case is Preston Watts v. Emergency Twenty Four, Inc., Case No. 20-cv-1820, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Marvin E. Aspen presiding.

Jason Hunter is a Partner at Litchfield Cavo LLC and represents corporate and individual clients in class action as well as those involving construction liability, trucking/automobile litigation, catastrophic personal injury and medical malpractice defense. Jason is routinely retained to represent business and commercial entities in matters involving multi-million dollar exposures.

Bryan Curry is Of Counsel at the Firm. His legal practice includes defending clients in complex cases including commercial disputes, employment litigation, catastrophic personal injuries and wrongful death claims. He has successfully litigated insurance coverage disputes at the trial court level and has represented clients on appeal in Illinois and before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jason and Bryan both are members of the Firm’s financial institutions class action team.