Judge Denies MSJ For Defendant in TCPA Claim Over Whether Plaintiff Revoked Consent

A District Court judge in Illinois has dismissed a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claim made by a plaintiff — who has the same name as a plaintiff’s attorney — against a debt collector while denying the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on a Telephone Consumer Protection Act claim, ruling that it isn’t clear whether or not the plaintiff revoked consent to be contacted.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Chatman v. MiraMed Group can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff was in a car accident and treated at a hospital. She was billed for the balance of her debt after insurance payments were credited to her account. The hospital called the plaintiff three times to collect on the balance, at which point the account was placed with the defendant. The defendant called the plaintiff eight times and sent one text message. The plaintiff, who claims the driver of the other vehicle should be liable for her medical bills, never answered the phone and the defendant left a pre-recorded message.

The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the defendant violated Section 1692g of the FDCPA because it never sent a validation notice and the TCPA because she had revoked consent to be contacted when the hospital call her before the account was placed with the defendant.

Interestingly enough, the plaintiff claimed not to have standing to pursue the FDCPA claim while the defendant argued otherwise. Judge Mary M. Rowland of the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois sided with the plaintiff and dismissed the FDCPA claim.

As for the TCPA claim, the defendant argued that the plaintiff could not revoke consent to be contacted because she signed a consent form at the hospital and that there is no evidence she revoked consent when she was contacted by the hospital. The plaintiff testified that she spoke with an agent of the hospital, and told the agent that she was not responsible for the balance, that the hospital shouldn’t call her again, and that she be placed on its do-not-call list.

Determining that a genuine issue of material fact existed whether the plaintiff revoked her consent, Judge Rowland denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

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