NHL’s Florida Panthers Sued for Alleged “Spam Text Message” Marketing
According to reporting from Bloomberg Law, the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers are being sued over alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA).
In bringing a class action lawsuit, two plaintiffs contend that they have received unsolicited, illegal spam text messages from the team after providing their phone numbers for a different purpose.
In this article, our West Palm Beach business and consumer fraud lawyers describe the allegations raised against the NHL team and we explain the most important things you need to know about spam text messages and the TCPA.
The Claim: Florida Panthers Sent Unwanted, Unlawful Texts to Fans
On behalf of other similarly situated consumers, this claim is being brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. One of the plaintiffs, a man named Kevin Hillow, alleges that he texted the word “Student” to the Florida Panthers as part of a promotion to get access to the rooftop lounge. When he did so, the team permitted him to enter the lounge. However, he claims that South Florida’s NHL team then started “spamming” him aggressively with unwanted marketing messages. He states that these messages offered no instructions or option to ‘opt out’ of them. Over seven weeks, he stated that he received nearly three dozen promotional text messages from the Florida Panthers.
Three Things to Know About Spam Texts and the TCPA
Signed into law in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush, the TCPA is an important consumer protection law. It restricts telemarketing and similar solicitations by both legitimate businesses and fraudsters. Notably, automated text messages are covered by the law. Here are three things that business owners and consumers in Florida should know about spam text messages and the TCPA:
- Consumers are Protected From Spam Commercial Texts: First and foremost, it is crucial to recognize that automated commercial text messages can be covered by the TCPA. Marketing campaigns should avoid sending unsolicited text messages to consumers. Texts sent in violation of the TCPA can result in serious financial liability.
- Consumer Consent is a Key: Under the TCPA, consent is key. Businesses can send marketing text messages—assuming consent has been provided. Generally, a best practice is to offer a consumer an easy opt-out option to stop receiving such messages.
- TCPA Violations are Subject to Strict Civil Penalties: The TCPA contains a private right of action. A consumer can file a lawsuit against a company that violates the TCPA. The penalties for TCPA violations are significant. Indeed, companies can be held liable for as much as $500 to $1,500 per spam text message.
Call Our South Florida Commercial Law Attorneys Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida business lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and experience to handle TCPA claims. If you have any questions about spam text message marketing, we can help. To schedule a confidential, no commitment consultation with an experienced attorney, please contact us today. With law office locations in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Miami, we serve clients all over Southeastern Florida.