Time Warner Cable, recently purchased by Comcast, is facing a potential class action lawsuit over automated phone calls that the plaintiff claims violate federal law designed to protect consumers from the “nuisance and privacy invasion” of telemarketing calls.
In a suit filed in U.S. District Court in California on Tuesday, the cable company is accused of invading plaintiff John Fontes’ privacy via a series of unsolicited auto-dialed calls to his cell phone.
Those incoming calls from Time Warner Cable also caused Fontes to incur charges on his prepaid cell phone bill, the suit alleges.
The claims stem from four prerecorded messages Time Warner Cable allegedly left on Fontes’ phone regarding the account of a person named Anna Pounzie. Fontes says in the suit that he is not a Time Warner Cable subscriber nor had he ever given the company his contact information or express permission to call his cell phone.
These actions, the lawsuit claims, are in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, which deemed “automated or prerecorded calls are a nuisance and an invasion of privacy, regardless of the type of call.”
The Act was updated in 2003 to protect cell phone users and allow consumers to join the National Do Not Call Registry. Time Warner Cable is accused of “negligently and/or willfully” contacting Fontes in violation of the provisions of the TCPA.
Lawyers for the plaintiff included language requesting the lawsuit be classified as a class action.
The suit only seeks damages incurred as a result of the alleged unsolicited calls and injunctive relief designed to stop the calls — the action is expressly not intended to request recovery of personal injury.
Industry leader Comcast said on February 13 that it had agreed to purchase Time Warner Cable, the fourth largest. The merger is expected to draw intense regulatory scrutiny.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report