Shelowitz Law Group (SLG) Wins Stunning Dismissal of TCPA Class Action for Software Client Autoremind, Inc.
District Court Refuses to Impute Rogue Reseller's Actions to AutoRemind Following SLG's Successful Arguments Against Agency Relationship Claims
NEW YORK, June 27, 2019 (Newswire.com) - In a righteous victory for SLG client, AutoRemind, Inc., a New York City-based pioneer in patient messaging and reminder software, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia dismissed all claims and rejected the Plaintiff’s plea for early discovery in a Class Action brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq. (the “TCPA”).
The lawsuit was triggered by a rogue Florida reseller’s unauthorized transmission of an unsolicited fax mentioning AutoRemind’s name and product offering. The TCPA prohibits transmission of unsolicited faxes and phone calls. The Plaintiff alleged: (i) that the rogue reseller was AutoRemind’s agent; (ii) that AutoRemind violated the TCPA because AutoRemind’s name and product appeared on the rogue reseller’s unauthorized fax; and (iii) that the rogue reseller’s unauthorized fax transmission created jurisdiction over AutoRemind in Georgia – where AutoRemind otherwise lacked any significant business contacts.
In a mortal blow to the Plaintiff’s case against AutoRemind, the Court embraced SLG’s position that there was no agency relationship between AutoRemind and the rogue reseller insofar as AutoRemind neither “supervised or controlled” the reseller. In highlighting the risks of adopting the Plaintiff’s argument, the Court echoed SLG’s argument that “allowing this type of agreement to constitute an agency relationship would be analogous to concluding that Best Buy is Microsoft’s agent and can legally bind Microsoft simply by reselling Microsoft’s products. Agency requires more than this.” As such, the Court found that AutoRemind did not commit any tortious act in or out of Georgia and that there was no personal jurisdiction over AutoRemind in Georgia.
According to Mitch Shelowitz, lead defense counsel for AutoRemind, “This case is a wakeup call to every company that relies on resellers to promote their products and services. No company should engage resellers or distributors without written agreements that expressly disclaim an agency relationship. Furthermore, in light of the significant consequences from violations of the TCPA, every company should implement a TCPA compliance program that resellers and distributors are required to follow.”
The case is captioned, Ward Family Chiropractor LLC, et al. v. AutoRemind Inc., et al., 4:18-cv-251-TCB (N.D. Ga. June 18, 2019). For more information, please contact: Mitchell C. Shelowitz, Managing Partner, Shelowitz Law Group, email: email@example.com; Tel. 212-655-9384.
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