Ad Agency Pleas for Supreme Court to Dismiss Class-Action Over Navy Campaign Text Ads

United States Supreme Court BuildingThe Supreme Court will hear arguments this week on a case featuring plaintiff and Illinois resident Jose Gomez, who was so incensed at receiving unsolicited text ads via phone that he sought relief.

The case involves Campbell-Ewald, an ad agency which handled the ad campaign on behalf of the U.S. Navy. The firm is now asking the Supreme Court to forestall a potential class-action lawsuit force Gomez to accept a $1,500 settlement offer.

“When a plaintiff has been offered all the relief that he has sought, the requisite case or controversy is lacking, no matter how badly a plaintiff might wish to proceed with the litigation and have the courts expound on the law or any underlying issue,” Campbell-Ewald argues in its written brief.

“Gomez sued Campbell-Ewald in 2010 for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act with an allegedly “bungled” texting initiative,” according to MediaPost. “That law prohibits companies from using autodialers to send text ads to consumers without their written consent. The statute provides for damages of $500 per violation.”

Gomez says in court papers that he received a text ad sent by Campbell-Ewald “even though he had never consented to receive it and was nearly 40 years old at the time — far above the Navy-approved age range.”

While the ad agency offered Gomez renumeration to settle the case, Gomez rejected the deal. He is maintaining that he is entitled to pursue a class action on behalf of all message recipients.

“Mr. Gomez had good reason for rejecting Campbell-Ewald’s settlement offer: He sued as the representative of a class, and no suitable class representative would cut a deal that gives himself full recovery at the expense of the class members that he seeks to represent,” his lawyers argue in court papers.

Because the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Gomez last year, the lawsuit is proceeding.