Judge Grants MSJ For Defendant in TCPA Case Over Call to Reassigned Number

A District Court judge in Massachusetts has granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment after it was sued for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by placing calls to a cell phone number that had been reassigned to someone who had not consented to being contacted by the defendant, ruling that the defendant did all it could to ensure the number still belonged to the previous owner.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Sandoe v. Boston Scientific can be accessed by clicking here.

The defendant was partnering with different healthcare clinics across the country to host educational pain management seminars. In some cases, the defendant would receive a list of names from the clinics that represented individuals who might be interested in attending the clinic. The defendant would transmit two pre-recorded messages to the numbers on those lists to promote the seminars.

The plaintiff received two calls from the defendant that were intended for someone else who had previously owned that cell phone number. The plaintiff filed a class-action complaint, alleging the defendant violated the TCPA by contacting him on his cell phone using an automated telephone dialing system or pre-recorded call without first obtaining his permission to do so. During his deposition, the plaintiff said he contacted the clinic after receiving the first call and asked to not be contacted anymore, but his phone records did not show any outbound calls to the clinic.

Along with granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the judge also denied a motion from the plaintiff to defer the ruling on summary judgment, saying that additional discovery was not needed.

“It is unclear what else, if anything, Boston Scientific could have done to ensure the numbers of the clinic patients had not been reassigned,” Judge Nathaniel Gorton of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts wrote. “Indeed, given the difficulty and unreliability associated with matching telephone numbers to subscribers, it is unclear what additional investigation Boston Scientific could have reasonably been expected to perform before calling the numbers provided by the clinics.”

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