When a lawsuit against Yahoo was dismissed by US District Court Judge Michael Baylson, you can bet that the Internet behemoth was relieved that the judge sided with them in saying that they had not violated any Telephone Consumer Protection Act laws.
Those laws specifically prohibit the use of auto dialers to send SMS messages without a recipient’s consent, but Philadelphia resident Bill Dominquez says that he indeed received those messages, to the tune of approximately 5000 in a five-month period. Dominquez wants the lawsuit to continue but, not surprisingly, Yahoo is asking for the court to uphold the decision to dismiss it.
Yahoo argues that there SMS system doesn’t rely on automated dialers but, instead “Messages sent through the email SMS service were not sent randomly, and bulk or to sequential numbers – only to specific phone numbers manually inputted by individual Yahoo users.”
The lawsuit filed by Dominquez argues that this is impossible, saying that he received nearly 5000 SMS messages and doesn’t even have a Yahoo email address. He started receiving the SMS messages after he purchased a used T-Mobile cell phone but didn’t change the number that was on that cell phone to a new number.
In recent court papers that they filed (and shared by MediaPost), T-Mobile argued that “Rather than simply asking his carrier to assign him a new number, Dominguez filed a complaint seeking to recover … statutory damages against Yahoo for allegedly violating the TCPA.”
Confusing matters is the fact that, even though Judge Michael Baylson agreed with Yahoo, another, different judge presiding over a separate lawsuit in California ruled against the company.
The lawsuit is ongoing and, as you might imagine, many businesses who engage in SMS text message advertising are keen on seeing its eventual outcome.