Santa Clara, CA: AT&T is facing a proposed class action lawsuit alleging the company has violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending unsolicited spam text messages in Spanish, to people's cellphones.
Filed by plaintiff Ali Gadelhak, who is not an AT&T customer, the suit claims that AT&T used an automated dialing service to deliver text messages to Gadelhak’s cellphone, knowing they were doing so and without his prior consent, which is in direct violation of the TCPA.
Gadelhak alleges the messages caused harm in numerous ways, including by diminishing the battery life of his cellular phone and wasting its data storage capacity.
“Defendant has caused plaintiff and members of the putative class actual harm, not only because consumers were subjected to the aggravation, waste of time and invasion of privacy that necessarily accompanies mobile spam, but also because consumers frequently have to pay their cellphone service providers for the receipt of such spam,” the complaint states. According to the suit, Gadelhak received a text message from AT&T on July 15 that was in Spanish and which asked him to participate in a customer satisfaction survey. Gadelhak isn’t an AT&T customer and doesn’t speak Spanish.
Gadelhak claims he responded to the text message twice, asking the sender to identify himself or herself. However, he then received more survey questions in Spanish that appeared to be automated. According to the complaint, Gadelhak’s cellphone number has been registered on the National Do Not Call Registry since May 23, 2014.
Gadelhak is seeking actual damages of up to $500 and treble damages up to $1,500 per class member for every call that violated the TCPA. He also seeks injunctive relief and asked the court to certify a class of possibly tens of thousands of individuals nationwide who received nonemergency text messages over the past four years from AT&T without consent. Further, Gadelhak is asking for certification of a subclass of individuals who received the text message specifically asking recipients to complete the customer satisfaction survey.
Gadelhak is represented by Keith J. Keogh, Timothy J. Sostrin and Michael Hilicki of Keogh Law Ltd. The case is Ali Gadelhak v. AT&T Corp., case number 1:17-cv-01559, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.