SW Legal studies in Business

Multiple Solicitation Phone Calls May Violate Law Regulating Telephone Solicitation Methods
Description Appeals court held that where a consumer shows that a seller made more than one solicitation call, when the seller had been instructed not to call again, there could be a violation of the federal law that restricts such practices. The fact that the caller was an agent of the principal company will not eliminate liability for the principal if the calls were under its direction.
Topic Consumer Protection
Key Words Telephone Solicitation
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Worsham, who has never had dealings with Nationwide Insurance, received a call from a person who identified herself as calling for Nationwide to inquire if he was interested in insurance. He said he was not interested and asked to be placed on the do-not-call list. The call was identified to have come from the office of Gerety, an independent contractor who sells Nationwide insurance. A month later, Worsham received a very similar call but the caller identification box provided no information. Worsham sued Nationwide for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 for not training personnel to follow the requirements of the law, which includes not making more than one call when so requested by the consumer. The trial court dismissed the suit, holding that Nationwide could not be responsible for the actions of independent contractors. Worsham appealed.
Decision Reversed in part. Nationwide did not violate the law by making the first call, so the issue is whether the second call violated the statute since the law clearly states that to call a consumer in less than a year after a no-call request has been made is a violation. Since the law applies to calls made by the same entity or on behalf of an affiliated entity, Nationwide could be liable for calls made by Gerety, one of its independent contractors, if such calls are recommended by Nationwide to its agents. Case is remanded to determine if Nationwide may be liable for having allowed the second call to be made.
Citation Worsham v. Nationwide Insurance Co., 772 A.2d 868 (Ct. App., Mary., 2001)

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