If you’ve ever wondered how professional plaintiffs work, here is some interesting insight.
A friend of mine sent me this link last night that details a deposition after a woman filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo, alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. How did she come to be contacted by Wells Fargo?
Well, even though she lives in Pennsylvania, she went out and purchased 35 pre-paid cell phones, all of them with Florida numbers. Why Florida? Because that state is “comparatively economically depressed” and those numbers were “more likely to get collection calls.”
The phones were purchased with the expressed intent of receiving unsolicited calls so that she could then go ahead and sue for violating the TCPA. Here are some excerpts from her deposition:
Q. Why do you have so many cell phone numbers?
A I have a business suing offenders of the TCPA business — or laws.
Q. And when you say business, what do you mean by business?
A. It’s my business. It’s what I do.
Q. So you’re specifically buying these cell phones in order to manufacture a TCPA? In order to bring a TCPA lawsuit?
Suffice to say, Wells Fargo won its motion to dismiss. Because she purposely purchased the phones to seek out telemarketing calls, she is not protected under the TCPA, which was intended to protect consumers from receiving unwanted calls. She wanted those calls. In fact, she needed those calls.
While it’s nice that the woman has been able to carve out a life for herself suing companies for violating the TCPA, she clearly has not learned the lesson that it’s probably not a good idea to announce yourself as a professional plaintiff during a deposition.