United States: Lawsuits Already Filed Under Updated Florida Laws

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The first lawsuits have already been filed under Florida’s recently amended telemarketing laws, which were updated on July 1 to provide for extended liability.

Senate Bill 1120, enacted on June 29 by Governor Ron DeSantis, significantly expanded existing state telemarketing laws by amending both the Florida Do Not Call Act and the Florida Telemarketing Act.

Under the amended laws, businesses must obtain prior express written consent for all “sales telephone calls” made using an “automated system for selecting or dialing telephone numbers or reading telephone numbers. a recorded message “.

In addition, the amendments provide for a private right of action for any violation of the Do Not Call Act, which covers automated telephone sales calls made without the prior express consent of the called party, calls to subscribers of the Florida do not call list, calls to people who have previously indicated they do not want to be called, calls that do not identify the attorney over the phone, and calls that do not forward the phone number original or intentionally altering the caller’s voice.

Similar to the Consumer Telephone Protection Act (TCPA), the law provides for actual damages or $ 500, whichever is greater, and treble damages for knowing or intentional violations.

The first case appeared less than two weeks after the changes came into force.

Michelle Cooper has filed an alleged class action against Batteries Plus for allegedly unwanted text messages that were sent without the prior written consent required to promote its batteries and bulbs.

The Wisconsin-based company texted July 1 and 9 touting a “text-exclusive deal” with discounts on car, truck and boat batteries, it said, using a computer software system. who automatically selected and dialed his number.

Cooper estimated that the potential class contains “thousands of consumers” across Florida, seeking $ 500 in damages for each violation as well as an injunction against future calls or texts.

Cooper’s lawsuit was followed by a complaint from Scott Merl accusing Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants of violating updated laws by sending texts on July 4 and 24 to promote vacation deals, and another by Juan Gomez against iDental. , claiming that the dental office texts to announce a new monthly payment option went against the law.

The two plaintiffs asked for the full amount of legal damages for the members of the potential groups, which numbered in the thousands.

To read the complaint in Cooper vs. Batteries Plus, LLC, Click on here.

To read the complaint in Merl v Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., Click on here.

To read the complaint in Gomez v. iDental Group, PLLC, Click on here.

Why is this important: The lawsuits suggest a potential new frontier for telemarketing call litigation and serve as a reminder for businesses across the country to ensure compliance with amended Florida telemarketing laws, which in many ways are more restrictive than the TCPA federal.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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