Good afternoon TCPA World, as many of our loyal followers know, each day our team reviews new filings and decisions involving the TCPA.
This morning I was really hoping for some juicy content to write about but there was only one case on Sunday’s docket. Initially, I was bummed out until I realized that Plaintiff in today’s filing is asserting a basis for personal liability against the owner of the two corporate defendants’. We’ve posted a few articles discussing the potential for TCPA liability to reach into the pockets of individuals (so unfair, we know), so this case serves as a nice reminder of that aspect of the TCPA. Without further ado, let’s talk about the lone TCPA case coming out of the Eastern District of Wisconsin – -ELZEN v. CODY ASKINS, LLC, et al. (E.D. Wisc. July 24, 2022):
Plaintiff here brought suit against Cody Askins LLC, 8 Percent Nation, LLC, and Cody Askins. According to Plaintiff’s complaint, Mr. Askins owns and runs the show for both businesses. Now we’ve seen plenty of industries impacted by the teeth of the TCPA. But Mr. Askins line of work is fairly niche – he organizes events, conferences, and training programs specific to insurance agents.
But Sean how would the TCPA impact someone that trains insurance agents through various events and conferences? Well TCPA World, according to the complaint, he gets traction for these events and conferences by cold-calling insurance agents nationwide, and these cold-calls happen to be made through use of a pre-recorded voice message. Plaintiff alleges to have received a number of these calls, claiming that Mr. Askins himself is the individual who actually recorded the message.
Now we already posted earlier this month about a court in Ohio holding that an individual defendant could be sued personally on the basis that he signed the marketing agreement at issue and oversaw the marketing efforts connected to that agreement. Now compare this with the allegations asserted against Mr. Askins above (yeah, it doesn’t look great). Of course, we need to know more about how involved Askins was in this alleged cold-call program, so let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.
Regardless, this case is a great reminder of the scary breadth of TCPA liability.