Why is Yahoo being Sued by Sprint Customers in Class Action Lawsuit?

In 2014, a Sprint customer filed a lawsuit which claimed that Yahoo sent Sprint customers spam text messages in 2013. This violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991. Yahoo fought the certification of a class action lawsuit -but lost. Recently, U.S. District Judge Manish Shah granted the lawsuit class-action status because it applied to all U.S. based Sprint users who received such messages. The case is Johnson et al v. Yahoo Inc, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 14-02028, 14-02753.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 prohibits companies from sending unsolicited and automated text messages. It also states that consumers who received such messages are allowed to seek compensation of $500 - $1500 per violation. The lawsuit claims that Yahoo's messenger services sent text messages and even reminder messages to Sprint customers. The lawsuit has requested that Yahoo pay each affected Sprint customer a minimum of $500 per violation in accordance with the act. The class action could apply to as many as 500,000 people – meaning that Yahoo's final payout could be $25,000,000 or more.

Who may be eligible? Sprint customers who received these messages between March 1, 2013 and March 31, 2013 whose phone numbers were not in Yahoo's user database may be eligible to be a part of the class action lawsuit.

A spokeswoman for Yahoo declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.

The Messages in Question:

What type of messages was Yahoo sending? According to the class-action lawsuit, plaintiffs accuse Yahoo of sending them unsolicited, unwanted automated "welcome" messages every time someone sent them a message using the Yahoo Messenger service. The messages constituted unauthorized advertising for Yahoo, violating the TCPA of 1991.

Understanding the TCPA

President George H.W. Bush signed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act into law in 1991. The TCPA prevents solicitors from calling residences before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. It also requires solicitors to honor the Do Not Call list of consumers for 5 years, as well as the National Do Not Call Registry. It also prohibits unsolicited advertising faxes, text messages, and calls.

Not The First Time Yahoo Has Been in Trouble

Unfortunately for Yahoo, this is not the first time Yahoo has faced a class action lawsuit. In fact, in 2015, customers filed a class action lawsuit against Yahoo for email spying. Non-Yahoo email users said the company intercepted and analyzed their emails to create target advertising for its 275 million mail subscribers.

Philadelphia Class Action Lawyers

At Golomb Legal, our experienced litigation 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 Legal today at 1-800-355-3300 or fill out our confidential Contact Form.