A proposed class action against Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. has been filed in California federal court. Accusations that the sporting goods retailer violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) allege that the company sent text messages to consumers after they had opted out of the subscription based alert advertising program. Plaintiff, Phillip Ngiehm, states that he originally agreed to participate in the marketing program, but that he opted out in December 2015 by texting the word “stop” as instructed. According to the terms of the program, this would result in a halt of messages from the program to the subscriber – effectively removing him from the subscriber list.
Dick’s acknowledged that they received the termination of his consent to receive automated text ads, but the advertising messages continued. In fact, Ngiehm received an immediate response when he texted “stop” in order to halt his involvement in the program:
“You have been unsubscribed and will no longer receive messages from us. Reply ‘help’ for help.”
After receiving this acknowledgement, he received eight text messages. This led to the filing of the lawsuit that Dick’s Sporting Goods is currently facing. Plaintiff’s attorney states that all the SMS texts that were received by the plaintiff after he opted out as instructed, were sent without his consent and were thus unauthorized. This leaves the messages in violation of the TCPA. He seeks certification of a national class of people who were in receipt of messages from Dick’s Sporting Goods that were unauthorized. He estimates that the number of eligible class members could be in the thousands. The suit will seek statutory and treble damages as well as an injunction to prohibit Dick’s Sporting Goods from distributing unwanted advertisements by text. The suit will also seek attorneys’ fees and associated costs.
If you have questions regarding class action status and what it means to be eligible for class action membership status, please get in touch with the southern California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik. We can assist you in determining how California labor law applies to your situation.