Chicago, ILL: Online retailer and catalog Fingerhut is facing a proposed Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), class action lawsuit filed by a man who alleges he has received calls from the company seeking payment for products he never bought.
Filed by plaintiff Herman Fulwiley, the complaint states that he received numerous telephone calls made by an auto-dialer, in direct violation of the TCPA. Further, the calls continued even after he withdrew his permission for them to contact him by phone.
Fulwiley states he received several auto-dialed phone calls from agents of Bluestem Brands Inc., Fingerhut’s parent company, over allegedly unpaid debts on products the company mistakenly sent him to fulfill a different order he placed.
“As a result of Bluestem’s actions … plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer stress, aggravation, emotional distress and mental anguish,” the complaint states.
In November 2016, Fulwiley purchased several items from Fingerhut, including a tablet computer, bedding and jewelry, according to the lawsuit. However, when the package arrived later that month, it did not contain the items he had purchased, rather items he had not purchased. He says he sent the package back to the company in an effort to return the items, obtaining a tracking number on the package “to ensure delivery,” the complaint states.
Fulwiley alleges that Bluestem began calling him about a month later, using what he says he could tell was an automatic dialing system. He asserts he received at least 20 auto-dialed calls from the company trying to collect unpaid amounts relating to previous purchases “despite the fact that plaintiff had paid for the purchased items and returned the items which he had not purchased.”
Despite speaking directly to Bluestem in August 2017, and revoking his consent for the company to call him, he continued to receive calls, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit seeks to represent a nationwide class of people who receive any auto-dialed or prerecorded calls from the company within the last four years. It also asks a judge to order injunctive relief forcing the company to stop placing auto-dialed calls and to enter $500 for every negligent TCPA violation found, $1,500 for every knowing violation found and an award for court and litigation costs.
Fulwiley is represented by David Levin of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman PC.
The case is Herman Fulwiley v. Bluestem Brands Inc. et al., case number 1:18-cv-01964, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.