Insurers Face Junk Fax TCPA Class Action Lawsuit

A putative class action lawsuit was filed against numerous insurers, including Banner Life Insurance Company and William Penn Life Insurance. The lawsuit, filed on January 27, 2016 alleged that these insurers violated both federal and New Jersey State junk-fax laws. The plaintiffs claim that they received unsolicited fax advertisements from the Insurers in February 2013. They claim that the fax advertisement is in direct violation of the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by not including the statutorily required "opt-out" language. They are seeking to lead a class action lawsuit that would include anyone who received an unsolicited faxed advertisement from these insurers within the last four years. Even if the faxed advertisement was solicited, if it did not contain the proper withdrawal notice or opt-out language, then they may be included in the class action lawsuit.

Insurance agency FPA Katchen LLC and Trestle & Associates LCC were allegedly actively involved in illegal marketing activities for Banner Life and William Penn. It is believed that thousands of faxes were sent out in these two cases involving life insurance products for both Penn and Banner Life. It is also believed that these two cases will uncover many additional TCPA violations.

Understanding the TCPA & the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. §227) restricts solicitations from telephones, automatic dialing systems, pre-recorded voice messages, text messages, and fax machines. The TCPA outlines specific guidelines for companies that wish to solicit individuals and businesses. Specifically, it prohibits solicitors from calling residences before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. It also requires companies to maintain a "do not call" list for consumers that must be honored for at least five years. Solicitors must also honor the National Do Not Call Registry. The TCPA also prohibits unsolicited advertising by fax.

In the event of a violation of the TCPA, solicitors may face up to $1,500 for each violation/ $500 for each fax violation.

The Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 was passed to amend the Communications Act of 1934 and the TCPA. The original TCPA prohibited unsolicited faxes but many companies continued to send junk faxes from outside of the United States. The Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 made significant changes to the TCPA – most notably it legislated the existing business relationship exemption.

The Junk Fax Prevention Act legislated that a business could claim an existing business relationship if they:

  • Received the recipient's fax number voluntarily
  • Contain opt-out language on the first page with a telephone number, fax number, and one cost-free way to request an opt-out of future advertisements
  • They must be available for this opt-out 24/7
  • They must honor all opt out requests within a reasonable time frame

Philadelphia Class Action Lawyers

At Golomb Legal, P.C., our experienced class action lawyers have represented consumers and their families across the United States in their quest for justice. To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation, call the Philadelphia class action lawyers at Golomb Legaltoday at 1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential Contact Form.