Well, this case is a great read. Three defense wins in one Order. Way to end the year!
Dare I say, Judge Aileen M. Cannon of the Southern District of Florida (West Palm Beach Division) got it right here! She granted Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss holding that Plaintiff lacked Article III standing. This is a great ruling for the defense bar!
Some background here…
Plaintiff, Stephen Muccio sued Global Motivation Inc., and its owner and CEO, for receiving FIVE text messages: two in November 2020 and three in July 2021. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant used the text messages to solicit the sale of consumer goods/or services and sent them to at least 100 individuals located in Florida.
The Class Action Complaint alleged five counts: Count I – Violation of FTSA against Global Motivation); Count II – Violation of FTSA against Belfort; Count III – Violations of the TCPA, 47 U.S.C. § 227(c), and 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(d) against Global Motivation; Count IV – Injunctive Relief Pursuant to the FTSA against Global Motivation and Count V – Violations of the TCPA, 47 U.S.C. § 227(c), and 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(d) against Global Motivation.
Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss for lack of standing and for failure to state a claim under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Relying on Spokeo, the Court reiterated that a plaintiff does not automatically satisfy the Article III standing requirement “whenever a statute grants [the plaintiff] a statutory right and purports to authorize [the plaintiff] to sue to vindicate that right.” In other words, “Article III standing requires a concrete injury even in the context of a statutory violation,” and “bare procedural violations, divorced from any concrete harm” do not suffice.”
Using the framework set out in Salcedo, the Court held that Plaintiff failed to allege a concrete injury in fact to establish Article III standing. What a Win!
The Court found that generalized allegations of “inconvenience, invasion of privacy, aggravation, annoyance, and violation of their statutory privacy rights” was not enough to show standing. The Court did find that there was no financial loss or other pecuniary harm asserted. I wonder if that could have been enough to tip the standing scale?
Plaintiff unconvincingly argued that this case was distinguishable to Salcedo because this plaintiff received FIVE text messages. Unpersuaded, the Court cited Salcedo quoting Saladin that “there is no minimum quantitative limit required to show injury; rather, the focus is on the qualitative nature of the injury, regardless of how small the injury may be.’” Saladin v. City of Milledgeville, 812 F.3d 687, 691 (11th Cir. 1987). Another win!
Quality over quantity at least since 1987!
Plaintiff also argued that he has Article III standing because Defendants failed to maintain certain policies associated with unsolicited calls and also failed to train personnel in the use of a do-not-call list. The Court found that “those policy-oriented allegations do not tip the standing scale in favor of Plaintiff’s standing.” One more win!
- Article III standing requires a concrete injury even in the context of a statutory violation and bare recitation of procedural violations without concrete harm will not suffice.
- The injury analysis is qualitative not quantitative.
- Policy-oriented allegations alone are not sufficient to show standing.
Great job to the Defense in this case. What a WIN!
Til next time, Countess!!!!