More than 150 robocalls made to one customer in one year proved very costly for Time Warner Cable.
A federal court judge on Tuesday ordered the cable company to pay $229,500 to longtime customer Araceli King.
The judge issued the order in the form of a summary judgment, which is a decision made without the case going to trial. The judge then canceled the case’s pending trial and marked the case closed.
The automated calls that Time Warner Cable made to the Texas woman between July 2013 and August 2014 were intended for another customer named Luis Perez, King alleged in her lawsuit against the New York-based company.
She also alleged that 153 calls were “willful or knowing” violations of the federal law known as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
King said Time Warner Cable made the calls after King answered one call and, in a seven-minute conversation, “told a [Time Warner Cable] representative that she was not Luiz Perez and asked that all calls to her cellular telephone in regard to the Perez account stop.”
The judge, U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, sided against Time Warner Cable. In his summary judgement, he quoted federal law and case law and explained:
The TCPA creates a safe harbor for calls made “with the prior express consent of the called party.” Prior consent is “an affirmative defense for which the defendant bears the burden of proof.”
Hellerstein ordered Time Warner Cable to pay $1,500 for each of the 153 calls the company made to King after Oct. 3, 2013.
King’s lawyer, Sergei Lemberg, told the Associated Press that his client was delighted by the ruling, adding that it sends a message to consumers to “stop taking it on the chin” when robocalls continue:
“Millions of U.S. consumers get robocalls. Only a few of them take it a step forward and get a lawyer.”
To view the full summary judgment, click here.
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