Tampa Bay Rays Face TCPA Lawsuit for Unwanted Text Messages

For the second time, local MLB team the Tampa Bay Rays is facing a lawsuit for sending unsolicited text messages. The team is being sued under the Telephone Protection Consumer Act (TCPA), which protects consumers from unwanted phone calls, text messages and faxes. The suit alleges that the team sent out the unwanted messages to boost their spring ticket sales.

Contacting the Fans

The class-action suit was filed by plaintiff Chad Fernandez, who claimed the team sent multiple messages, including:

  • “Opening Day is one week away! Get your tickets now and join the Rays for the start of the 2018 season. http://atmlb.com/2HTrLoi Text STOP to cancel”
  • “Happy Opening Day 2018! The Rays season begins today at 4:00 p.m as they take on the Boston Red Sox. Game info: https://bit.ly/ly2GXec8h Text STOP to cancel”
  • “Today only: $20-Press Level tickets for Blue Jays vs. Rays matchup on Saturday, May 5, at 6:10! https://atmlb.com/2qYO85D Text STOP to cancel”
  • “Today only, purchase $12– lower level tix for STAR WARS Night on Sat. 5/25 when the Rays host the O’s at 4:10 pm https://atmlb.com/2rkJy0X Text STOP to cancel”

In his petition, Fernandez defined the class as “ All individuals in the United States to whose wireless telephones Defendant, or someone on its behalf, sent a non-emergency, unsolicited text message through the use of an automatic dialing system, at any time within the four years prior to the filing of this action.”

The Team’s Defense

In their motion to dismiss, the team argued that the plaintiff did in fact subscribe to their messages in March of 2018. The team sent out a series of text messages to numbers that they claim were subscribers who signed up to receive them, and had the option to cancel the messages at any time.

The judge in the case, U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven, stated that the argument would require her to look outside of the complaint to dismiss these claims, and denied the argument. She also ordered the plaintiff to update his complaint and narrow down the proposed class in the suit.

It’s not the first time a sports team has been targeted for TCPA violations. Since 2012, similar suits have been filed against the Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers. Other teams have also been sued under the TCPA.

Harassment by Phone?

Even after you’ve told them not to, some companies will continue to call. If you’re being bombarded with calls, texts, or other unwanted communications after telling them to cease, your rights under the TCPA may be violated.

You can make it stop. Contact The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi for a free case evaluation. Speak with a knowledgeable TCPA lawyer today to put an end to the harassment and go after the compensation you deserve. Call (844)-JIBRAEL today for a free legal consultation.