SCOTUS Still Needs to Address TCPA Ambiguity

Washington, DC – The Retail Litigation Center and the National Retail Federation issued the following statements in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today striking down an exception for calls made to collect government debts, but otherwise failing to address the problems with the rest of the statute that have led to rampant meritless litigation. The ruling came in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants Inc.:

“Today’s decision still leaves well-intentioned retailers in an impossible situation when it comes to choosing if and how to communicate with customers. Every time a retailer sends an order confirmation or delivery information or sales coupon text to a customer, they take the risk of being hit with a lawsuit based on a meritless TCPA claim. Customers want and rely on these critical communications, even more so now during the current COVID crisis which has increased consumer demand for 'touchless' shopping and delivery options. Retailers need a clear legal standard that governs their communications with customers,” said Kathleen McGuigan, RILA Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. “We urge the Supreme Court to address this issue by granting cert in the Facebook v. Duguid case next Term.”

“The automated call ban has only led to abusive and counterproductive litigation, and this ruling means that litigation will continue,” National Retail Federation Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Stephanie Martz said. “Retailers have no desire to alienate their customers with unwanted texts or phone calls and go to great lengths to keep from doing so. What we need is a clear and workable legal standard, and the opportunity to create that standard has been missed.”


Retail Litigation Center

Directed by the chief legal officers of the country's leading retail companies, the Retail Litigation Center (RLC) is the only organization dedicated to advocating for the industry's top priorities in the federal and state judiciary. The RLC also works with leading law firms and retail corporate counsel to develop forward-thinking strategies to combat meritless mass action litigation. Founded by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) in 2010 as an independent organization, the RLC is a 501(c)(6) membership association open to all retailers and select law firms.

National Retail Federation

The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.

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