Professional TCPA Plaintiff’s Tactics Fail in Court

Many individuals have gained notoriety as “professional plaintiffs,” exploiting laws like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for personal gain. However, various recent cases where the professional plaintiff found himself on the losing end of the legal battle have shed light on the importance of genuine grievances. On two separate occasions, Missouri judges found that a plaintiff did not have standing to bring a claim under the TCPA’s internal Do Not Call (DNC) requirements because the plaintiff never asked to be placed on the defendant’s internal DNC list.

Plaintiff Dennis Thompson sued Genesco, Inc., and Vintage Stock, Inc., alleging the companies sent numerous marketing texts to his cellphone without getting his consent. In his complaint against Genesco, Inc., Thompson specifically claimed that Genesco failed to adhere to the TCPA’s internal DNC regulations and failed to have a written policy available upon demand for maintaining the internal DNC list. Thompson made similar claims in the complaint against Vintage Stock, Inc.

However, the Courts both found that there was no casual connection between Thompson’s alleged injury (“the irritation resulting from unwanted calls and texts”) and Genesco’s conduct, the apparent failure to maintain an internal DNC list. The Court found that ultimately Thompson never asked to be placed on the companies’ internal DNC lists and therefore was not injured when the company did not add him to one. In the Genesco case, Judge Clark concluded that without such a “casual connection,” there is no traceability and thus no Article III standing to Genesco’s alleged failure to comply with the internal DNC list requirement.

Without Article III standing, neither case was able to move forward. While this plaintiff’s attempts were unsuccessful, CompliancePoint continues to hear of various tactics professional plaintiffs are utilizing to exploit the law for their own personal gain. For example, CompliancePoint was recently made aware of an instance in which a serial litigator had numerous calls with a company (as long as 27 minutes) and continued to go through the onboarding process as if he was going to sign up for services. Without ever making an internal DNC request with the company, he is now threatening a lawsuit and is seeking $100,000 to settle. Unfortunately, many of these types of professional plaintiffs are successful and continue to go after legitimate companies without proper legal standing.

Though this professional plaintiff was not successful in his efforts, many others are. These cases serve as cautionary tales for businesses and highlight the importance of maintaining an internal DNC list and accurate records, such as call recordings. By taking a proactive approach to compliance measures, companies subject to the TCPA can avoid costly legal battles and protect themselves against bad actors looking for monetary gain. These cases also serve as an example that while the TCPA serves as a vital purpose in protecting consumers, it is not a tool for frivolous lawsuits or extortionate behavior.

If you have any questions about maintaining an internal Do Not Call list or other TCPA requirements, please reach out to

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