March 9. 2017
Dear Chairmen Walden and Ranking Member Pallone:
This week, the full House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on H.R. 985, the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 (FICALA). We write to express our support for H.R. 985, as it addresses many problems associated with overbroad and procedurally abusive class actions. In particular, several provisions of H.R. 985 will assist in providing partial relief for a particularly problematic area of class action litigation—the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
As you are aware, the TCPA has moved far beyond its original intent, leading to a landslide of litigation against businesses, large and small, in nearly every consumer-facing sector of the economy. In fact, the number of TCPA lawsuits filed around the country last year hit an all-time high at 4,860—with a 1,272 percent increase in TCPA case filings since 2010. Yet the individuals allegedly harmed by receiving the communications are not the same individuals benefiting from TCPA litigation. A 2014 study found that, on average, consumers received only $4.12 from a TCPA settlement, while the plaintiffs’ attorneys received $2.4 million.