So we reported recently about a new case that took advantage of the Baroness’ huge win in Bacarri.
Brass tacks– in suits against a product seller arising out of illegal calls, the seller can get out of the case quick and easy with a standing motion arguing the conduct is not “fairly traceable” to the seller; at least where contract terms plainly demonstrate a lack of authority to engage in illegal telemarketing.
Well a new case shows the way these cases go when you DON’T take advantage of Troutman Amin, LLP‘s awesome new litigation trick.
In Fridline v. Integrity Vehicle Group, Inc. 2023 WL 7170642 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 31, 2023) a Defendant was sued for calls made to sell its products by third-party marketers. The Defendant moved to dismiss arguing the mere existence of a contract is not sufficient to establish agency.
While the Court agreed that a contract alone was not enough to hold Defendant accountable, other allegations suggested Defendant controlled the marketer to a degree–and that allowed the case to survive the pleadings stage.
The contract language was not before the Court–which gave the Court considerable pause in evaluating the motion and likely lead to the Defendant’s defeat. Had defendant positioned the motion as a standing motion, however, as opposed to a sterile motion to dismiss, the contract could have come into play.
That was the trick Troutman Amin, LLP used when it helped another warranty company to escape liability in Bacarri. But when a Defendant chooses to focus solely on the allegations of the complaint–and not the content of contractual provisions– you have the deck stacked against you.
So Integrity Vehicle Group is tuck in the case. We’ll keep an eye on this.
Separately, be sure you have a copy of Troutman Amin’s 2023 TCPA Annual review, presented by TrustedForm so you have all the ammunition you need to best defend yourself in TCPA suits!