Complaint about University of Phoenix's alleged TCPA violation concludes quietly

By Quinten Plummer | Oct 21, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) -- A lawsuit accusing the University of Phoenix of violating the Telephone Consumer Privacy Act (TCPA) has been quietly put to bed.

The online university had been facing accusations of negligent violations of the TCPA, along with knowing and willful violation of the TCPA, in a class action suit that was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Twonesha Johnson-Hendricks had alleged that she'd received a number of unsolicited calls from the University of Phoenix over a two-day stretch last year, Aug. 12-13. During that stretch, the plaintiff received six calls on her cellphone from an "automatic telephone dialing system" operated by the defendants, according to court documents.

The calls were placed despite Johnson-Hendricks never consenting to receiving such communications from the school, according to the complaint. Adding to the complaint's standing, the calls weren't determined to be for emergency purposes as defined by the TCPA.

On top of not giving "prior express consent" and the calls failing to meet the standard for emergency, Johnson-Hendricks had registered her phone number with the National Do-Not Call Register.

The "plaintiff did not have an established business relationship with the defendant during the time of the solicitation calls from the defendant," the lawsuit said. "Despite this, the defendant continued to call Johnson-Hendricks in an attempt to solicit its services and in violation of the National Do-Not-Call provisions of the TCPA, thus repeatedly violating the plaintiff’s privacy."

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Johnson-Hendricks and other individuals similarly situated. However, the lawsuit asserted the class was so large that it was impractical to bring them together under a single joinder.

Despite being able to quantify the eligible parties to the class, the plaintiff's side estimated that could include thousands of people.

Despite the circumstances of the case and its potential to bring in a large number of class members, the action against the University of Phoenix came to a sudden end, as noted by Geoffrey Vetter, a spokesman for the university.

"The plaintiff in this matter filed a notice of voluntary dismissal on Sept. 22, and the case was dismissed and closed on that day," Vetter told Legal Newsline.

Earlier this year, the University of Phoenix was subject to a similar complaint from a woman who alleged she received unsolicited calls from the school as well. The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The plaintiff alleged she had received phone calls from an automated telephone dialer system used by the University of Phoenix in February 2015. That case was apparently settled outside of court and dismissed with prejudice as a result.


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