A lawsuit has been filed against Checkers Drive-In Restaurants and Vibes Media LLC for allegedly sending illegal advertisements via text messages. According to the plaintiff, the text messages were in violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Toby Branden of Louisiana filed the class action lawsuit on November 3 in a Chicago federal court. The lawsuit states it was filed against the fast food restaurant and the mobile media marketing firm in an attempt “to stop their practice of making unauthorized and unwanted text message calls to the cellular telephones of consumers nationwide and to obtain redress for all persons injured by their conduct.”
According to the suit, Checkers allegedly sent automated text messages to consumers using an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS). Checkers sent the texts to customers without obtaining prior written permission to do so. The company also failed to include a method for people to request the messages to stop and an option to be placed on a do-not-call list. All three of these allegations violate the consumer protections granted by the TCPA.
The lawsuit states that Checkers and Vibes Media “took steps necessary to physically place such text message calls and/or were so involved in placing the texts that they could be considered to have initiated them.” It goes on to state the messages could reasonably be considered advertisements because the wording indicated they were intended to persuade consumers to purchase fast food products from the restaurant.
Branden states the texts were an invasion of her privacy granted to her by federal consumer protection laws and caused harm to her and other customers. According to the suit, Branden and other customers who received the messages suffered “the aggravation that necessarily accompanies the receipt of unsolicited text messages, but also because consumers frequently have to pay their cell phone service providers for the receipt of such unauthorized text messages.”
The lawsuit is filed on behalf of Branden and all other customers similarly situated. She is suing for damages, including a $500 fine per violation with a possibility of up to $1,500 per violation if it is found that defendants willfully violated the TCPA. She is also seeking declaratory justice, award expenses, an injunction requiring the defendants to cease the text messages activities, and any other justice deemed appropriate by the court.
She is represented by Robert Luis Costales and William H. Beaumont of Beaumont Costales LLC in Chicago. The class action suit is U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois case number 1:17-cv-07947.