A proposed class action claims Lumico Life Insurance Company, through its third-party vendor Assurance IQ, Inc., has placed thousands of robocalls and automated text messages to consumers’ cell phones without securing prior consent to do so.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants’ communications, which “shift the burden of wasted time to the consumers,” violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a federal law designed to protect the public from unauthorized automated and prerecorded calls.
Per the case, Lumico and Assurance, who contracts with the former to market its insurance products through allegedly automated calls and texts, have failed to comply with the TCPA’s requirement to obtain consumers’ consent before using an automatic telephone dialing system or artificial or prerecorded voice to place non-emergency telemarketing calls and texts.
The plaintiff, a Pennsylvania resident, says he received a May 2019 call from the defendants that “used a series of pre-recorded scripts to deliver a telemarketing message.” When the plaintiff answered the call, he heard “a lengthy pause and a click followed by silence” before the first prerecorded script played, the case relays.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants “spoofed” the Caller ID number that displayed on the plaintiff’s cell phone in order to make the call appear as if it were coming from a local number. The plaintiff suspects that the nature of the call and the use of a “spoofed” number indicate that it was placed using an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS).
“[T]he use of a pre-recorded message itself is indicative that an ATDS was used, as it would be illogical to manually dial each call just to play a recorded message if a call recipient picks up,” the complaint posits.
The plaintiff says he “pressed one” after hearing a prerecorded message advertising insurance services in order to find out the identity of the caller. Upon speaking with a live representative, the plaintiff allegedly learned that the call had been placed in order to sell Lumico’s insurance products—a fact confirmed by a subsequent email sent to the plaintiff by the company, according to the suit.
Though the plaintiff informed the caller that he was not interested in Lumico’s services and intended to proceed with filing an action against the company for calling him without his consent, the defendants proceeded to send the man automated text messages following the call, the case says:
The lawsuit claims the fact that the messages were sent using a “short code” is evidence that the defendants used an ATDS with the capacity to automatically “dial” numbers from a list.
“Assurance’s dialing system makes automated text messages calls using numbers that are stored in a database, called sequentially from a list and sent the same generic text message content,” the complaint alleges.
The plaintiff argues that he never provided consent to receive the defendant’s calls or texts, which, according to the suit, were “frustrating, obnoxious, annoying, were a nuisance, and disturbed the solitude” of recipients.
Initially filed in New York’s Southern District Court on July 12, 2019, the lawsuit was transferred to Pennsylvania’s Eastern District Court on July 8, 2021.
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