Dish Network’s (Dish) effort to overturn a USD $61 million jury verdict in a class action for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) may have come to the end of the road this week. Unsuccessful in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Dish had petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court (Supreme Court) to take its case, arguing in part that the certified class members – reportedly numbering some 18,000 – did not meet the requirements for standing to sue under that Court’s decision in Spokeo v. Robins. Dish was supported in the Supreme Court on this theory by the trade group Cruise Lines International Association. But the Supreme Court declined to grant the petition for certiorari on December 16.
The essence of Spokeo was that a “concrete injury” was required to establish standing to sue, not just a “bare procedural violation.” Dish contended that absent proof that the certified class members other than the lead plaintiff were, in fact, aware that they had received a telemarketing call, there could be no such concrete injury. As previously reported and analyzed in detail in TCPAWorld, the Fourth Circuit refused to buy that and other Dish arguments seeking to reverse the jury’s decision. At one point, the appellate court characterized Dish’s argument on this score as an attempt to “dismember the TCPA.”
As is normal practice, the Supreme Court remained silent on the reasons for its declination of Dish’s petition. So, TCPAWorld is left to wonder what was behind the Court’s decision to take a pass.