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Plaintiff Seeks Certification in TCPA Suit Over Calls Made to Shoplifters

The plaintiff in a lawsuit against a collection law firm and Walmart alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act has asked the court to certify the suit as a class action.

The law firm was going after civil recoveries from individuals who had been caught shoplifting from Walmarts. According to the motion, which was filed Tuesday in the District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Walmart places between 500 to 2,000 shoplifting cases per day with the law firm, Palmer Recovery Associates.

A copy of the motion in the case of Goins v. Walmart & Palmer Recovery Associatescan be accessed here.

The plaintiff was called 16 times by the defendant in attempts to collect a civil recovery, but the problem was the plaintiff was never caught shoplifting from a Walmart. Walmart “associated Plaintiff’s telephone number with a person named Kenya Johnson, who Walmart accused of shoplifting at one of its retail stores,” and then gave the number to the defendant.

The defendants are accused of not verifying that the number provided actually belonged to the right person before making the attempts to contact the correct individual. Once the defendant was told that it had the wrong number, it placed the phone number on its “wrong number list.” The defendant relies on the individual being called to indicate that the number does not belong to the intended recipient.

During a four-year period between 2013 and 2017, the defendant placed more than 20,000 numbers on the wrong number list, according to documents provided by the defendant.

Because none of those individuals provided prior express consent to the defendant to be contacted, the calls are each a violation of the TCPA, the plaintiffs argue.

 

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