It was just last week that TCPAWorld reported on the abortive effort of the President Trump’s re-election to escape potential Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) liability for texting cellphones without consent (https://tcpaworld.com/2020/06/09/trump-campaign-fails-to-escape-tcpas-clutches/). Now, in the spirit of bipartisanship, the same counsel have brought a similar class action in the same Minnesota Federal Court against Bernie 2020 Inc., the campaign organization of former Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.
In Jacob Buller and Cody Olson v. Bernie 2020 Inc., Case No. 20-cv-01368-ECT-TNL, United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, filed June 15, 2020, the plaintiffs contend that in October 2019 each received a text message on their respective cellphones inviting them to view the Senator’s latest campaign ad on YouTube. Neither plaintiff had provided their express consent. Further, the complaint asserts that the texts, which were identical and generic in nature except for the plaintiffs’ first names, were sent using an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) and constituted, prerecorded calls under the TCPA. So now Cody Olson and Connor Olson, a plaintiff in the Trump suit, have something else in common other than their last names.
The case has been assigned to Judge Eric C. Tostrud and referred initially to Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung. Plaintiffs may have been hoping to draw Chief Judge John Tunheim, who in his June 8 decision in the Trump case agreed that an ATDS could include “equipment that has the specified capacity to generate numbers and dial them without human intervention regardless of whether the numbers called are randomly or sequentially generated or come from calling lists.”(emphasis supplied). In any case, the complaint dutifully points out Judge Tunheim’s decision on that key issue, the significance of which TCPAWorld has analyzed as well (https://tcpaworld.com/2020/06/09/avoidable-disaster-trump-campaigns-strange-decision-to-challenge-atds-allegations-at-pleadings-stage-leads-to-marks-being-adopted-in-d-minn-for-the-first-time/).
So will any other Presidential campaigns be TCPA targets in Minnesota? Perhaps they are checking their call lists for any potential voters name Olson.