As every TCPA class action lawyer knows, the primary strategy of the Plaintiff’s bar is to serve massively overbroad discovery demands to put enormous pressure on the Defendant to settle for millions of dollars.
No company wants to be turned inside out and have its confidential–and often extremely sensitive consumer financial information- turned over to a plaintiff-side “expert” that will probably store it on a thumb drive in his kitchen junk drawer.
As I explained not long ago, a good set of objections to the typical shotgun style discovery demands TCPA class counsel serve should span over a hundred pages. And failing to properly articulate objections–and support them with suitable evidence in opposing motions to compel–can lead to terrible results.
In Beard v. John Hiester Chevrolet, No. 5:21-CV-173-D, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46202 (W.D.N.C. March 16, 2022) the Court found that defendant failed to demonstrate that the discovery sought is not proportional to the case or should otherwise not be allowed. Accordingly the Defendant was ordered to produce:
- documents concerning Defendant’s relationship with third-party vendors involved in making the alleged calls (RFP 2 (written agreements), RFP 3 (written communications), RFP 4 (receipts and invoices);
- call logs and other information concerning the individuals to whom prerecorded messages were sent by Defendant or its vendor (RFPs 8, 9, 10; Interrog. 3);
- documents (or exemplars thereof) to support Defendant’s claim [*5] that putative class members consented to the calls (RFPs 15-17);
- documents identifying revenue generated from the calls at issue (for the purpose of determining whether Defendant is vicariously liable based upon ratification of its vendors’ actions) (RFP 22); and
- the names of employees involved in creating the prerecorded messages (Interrog. 6).
Arguably none of this information is needed ahead of certification–although templates of consent records is not so bad.
Notice that interrogatory 6 asked for the names of employees involved in the prerecorded calls. You know what’s coming next–an amendment to personally name those individuals.
If you’re served with an abusive set of class discovery demands make sure you seek out good counsel to preserve ALL of your rights. Asserting well-framed scope, necessity and burden objections–and substantiating those objections with evidence at the right time–is CRITICAL to defeating a TCPA class action.
Always here to chat.