Well folks, today is a fairly dark day in TCPAWorld and for the MLB.
A stain upon our national heritage and pastime–the beloved game of baseball–has been rendered in the form of a class action lawsuit that just reeks.
And against the beloved Cubbies, no less.
The perennial lovable losers who briefly met with success in recent years only to falter back into their little league-esque capering of late, are facing a massive new lawsuit, and its just a crying shame.
We can’t just “let the kids play” these days. No… we have to sue them over a handful of text messaages.
Its just not ok.
But in seriousness, there is a lesson here for everyone. So listen up.
Plaintiff COLIN LATEANO–who I assume is a Cardinals fan–has filed suit against the Cubs in federal court in Chicago alleging the Cubs sent him text messages trying to sell him ballgame tickets without express consent.
Lateano is suing the Cubs under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)–a federal statute that prevents robocalls (and texts) to cell phone without consent.
He is suing the Cubs on his own behalf, as well as on behalf of everybody else who received similar texts–and he wants to collect millions of dollars from the Cubs for sending these texts!
That’ll cool off your hot dog.
According to the Plaintiff’s complaint he received at least the following unwanted texts from the Cubs:
- “You’ve got first dibs on Cubs Tickets! Secure your ticket
pack today: http://bit.ly/3HTsjwq Text STOP to cancel.”
Sent on Feb 2, 2023.
- “It’s game time! Cubs single game tickets on sale now.
Secure tickets for the best matchups, giveaways & more!
https://atmlb.com/3lMz2al Text STOP to cancel.” Sent on
February 24, 2023.
- Welcome to the Chicago Cubs SMS alerts! Don’t miss
Opening Day on 3/30 vs. Brewers. Grab your tickets
today! https://gr.order.cubs.com/6Gscbd.” Sent on March
Plaintiff claims he received these texts despite the fact that he had previously texted “Stop” to the Cubs in the past.
He seeks to represent a class consisting of:
All persons in the United States (1) subscribing to a residential
telephone number (2) to which Defendant sent at least two text
messages within a 12 month period (3) promoting its goods for
sale (4) at least 30 days after receipt of a “stop” reply (5) within
four years of the date of the Complaint.
Plaintiff estimates there are “thousands” of individuals in the class meaning that Plaintiff seeks to recover at least $3,000,000.00 from the Cubs–the TCPA carries of penalty of up to $1,500.00 per illegal text message.
Its a pretty bleak day in America when a class action lawsuit gets filed against a beloved national institution like the Chicago Cubs. Let’s hope this case is soundly defeated–and quickly.
That being said, everybody out there who uses text messages to connect with your customers (or fan bases) needs to be aware of the TCPA and the requirement to swiftly honor stop requests. The TCPA applies to numbers on the national DNC and also to cell phone numbers if certain technology is being used.
Always consult a lawyer–like the brilliant folks at Troutman Amin, LLP–before engaging in any new outreach to consumers! Or you may end up sued for millions by plaintiff’s lawyers like the poor Cubs.
The case is COLIN LATEANO, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. CHICAGO CUBS BASEBALL CLUB, LLC, Defendants (sic.) N.D.Ill. Case no. 1:23-cv-2757.