In 2014, a Sprint customer filed a lawsuit which claimed that Yahoo sent
Sprint customers spam text messages in 2013. This violated the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991. Yahoo fought the certification
of a class action lawsuit -but lost. Recently, U.S. District Judge Manish
Shah granted the lawsuit class-action status because it applied to all
U.S. based Sprint users who received such messages. The case is Johnson
et al v. Yahoo Inc, United States District Court, Northern District of
Illinois, No. 14-02028, 14-02753.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 prohibits companies from
sending unsolicited and automated text messages. It also states that consumers
who received such messages are allowed to seek compensation of $500 -
$1500 per violation. The lawsuit claims that Yahoo's messenger services
sent text messages and even reminder messages to Sprint customers. The
lawsuit has requested that Yahoo pay each affected Sprint customer a minimum
of $500 per violation in accordance with the act. The class action could
apply to as many as 500,000 people – meaning that Yahoo's final
payout could be $25,000,000 or more.
Who may be eligible? Sprint customers who received these messages between
March 1, 2013 and March 31, 2013 whose phone numbers were not in Yahoo's
user database may be eligible to be a part of the class action lawsuit.
A spokeswoman for Yahoo declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.
The Messages in Question:
What type of messages was Yahoo sending? According to the class-action
lawsuit, plaintiffs accuse Yahoo of sending them unsolicited, unwanted
automated "welcome" messages every time someone sent them a
message using the Yahoo Messenger service. The messages constituted unauthorized
advertising for Yahoo, violating the TCPA of 1991.
Understanding the TCPA
President George H.W. Bush signed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
into law in 1991. The TCPA prevents solicitors from calling residences
before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. It also requires solicitors to honor the
Do Not Call list of consumers for 5 years, as well as the National Do
Not Call Registry. It also prohibits unsolicited advertising faxes, text
messages, and calls.
Not The First Time Yahoo Has Been in Trouble
Unfortunately for Yahoo, this is not the first time Yahoo has faced a class
action lawsuit. In fact, in 2015, customers filed a class action lawsuit
against Yahoo for email spying. Non-Yahoo email users said the company
intercepted and analyzed their emails to create target advertising for
its 275 million mail subscribers.
Class Action Lawyers
At Golomb & Honik, our experienced litigation lawyers have represented
consumers and their families across the United States in their quest for
justice. To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free
consultation call the
Philadelphia class action lawyers at Golomb & Honik today at
1-800-355-3300 or fill out our confidential