Precedent-Setting Win In TCPA Class Action Suit

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Cloud Text and Calling Platform CallFire Wins Summary Judgment in TCPA Class Action

CallFire, Inc., the cloud-based text and voice platform that helps organizations communicate with their target audiences, today announced it won on summary judgment in a TCPA class action suit filed by Rinky Dink, Inc. against multiple defendants. The federal judge ruled that CallFire is a common carrier and therefore not subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). CallFire was represented in the suit by Michael Hazzard at Arent Fox LLP, a national leader in litigation, regulatory, and transactional counsel, and won the judgment in United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

“The TCPA was and continues to be an important and necessary piece of legislation to protect consumers from unwanted solicitation across multiple forms of communication, but it’s not necessarily reflective of the times,” said Ron Burr, CEO and Chairman, CallFire. “Today’s judgment further clarifies the importance of a carrier designation for cloud-based telephony companies, as well as who should be held responsible for TCPA violations. This sets an important precedent around TCPA liability, and allows technology companies like CallFire and its industry counterparts to focus on innovation rather than fighting litigation.”    

The United States District Court at Seattle found that CallFire is a common carrier and not subject to liability under the TCPA or analogous state laws when serving as a conduit for the calls its customers initiate in case number C13-1347-JCC. A link to the decision is here.

“We expect this decision to go a long way in eliminating harassing class action litigation against common carriers like CallFire,” said Michael Hazzard, Partner, Communications, Technology & Mobile, Arent Fox. “The judge in this case set a clear industry precedent, while also enabling technology companies like CallFire to focus on growing their businesses and creating jobs.”

Rinky Dink, Inc. filed a putative class action complaint after receiving a prerecorded call from a vendor selling credit card processing services. The plaintiffs claimed that CallFire violated the TCPA and the Washington Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device (WADAD) statute on the theory that both CallFire and the customer using its telephone services had initiated prerecorded calls.

The court ruled that “CallFire is a common carrier, and therefore is not subject to liability for alleged violations of the” TCPA because CallFire does not control the content, timing or recipients of the messages sent by its customers. CallFire also successfully argued that CallFire does not “initiate” the calls that its customers choose to transmit through CallFire’s telephone service, and therefore CallFire could not have violated either the TCPA or WADAD.

For more information about the precedent-setting decision, read the Court’s order here.

About CallFire
CallFire provides phone and text services to help organizations of all sizes efficiently communicate with customers, prospects and other constituents through its CallFire and EzTexting brands. The CallFire self-serve platform is intuitive enough for the smallest organization or startup, while also robust enough for the Fortune 500. Over 200,000 customers have relied on CallFire since 2006. For more information, visit http://www.callfire.com.

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Nikki Neumann
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