New Jersey Federal Court Approves TCPA Junk Fax Class Action
United States District Judge Stanley Chesler of the District of New Jersey has granted class certification of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the recipients of junk faxes, finding the "class action is simply a better available method to fairly and efficiently resolve the claims [...] in this case".
The class action lawsuit alleges defendant violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the "TCPA") by sending unsolicited junk faxes. The fax broadcaster, Business-to-Business "B2B", is the same fax broadcaster responsible for the junk faxes in the TCPA class action Goans v. Hard Wok Cafes et al.
B2B transmitted over 4,573 unsolicited fax advertisements over the course of two days. Neither B2B or the defendant obtained permission or consent from the recipients of the junk faxes.
The Court, finding in favor of class certification, stated "[t]he evidence determinative of Defendant's liability concerns 'transmission' of the allegedly illegal fax, and in substantial part does not relate to the individual recipients." The Court rejected the argument that the statutory damages available under the TCPA ($500 to $1,500 per violation), and the possibility of relief in small claims court, should impede certification as a class action.
Agreeing with a number of other courts on the issue, the Court found "the facts and issues at the core of the instant TCPA claim are better off resolved in a single class action than in numerous individual ones". The Court reasoned "[i]n the absence of class treatment, duplicative evidence of Defendant's alleged TCPA violation would have to be provided in hundreds if not thousands of individual lawsuits" and "[d]etermining Defendant's liability in once proceeding results in substantial efficiency gains for the parties and the court system".