US District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia on June 20, 2017 granted the joint motion for dismissal filed June 19 after both parties reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount in the consumer lawsuit. The lawsuit had not yet been certified as a class action.
San Diego resident Russell Smith filed the lawsuit Smith v. Citibank NA, Case No. 3:16-cv-03007, US District Court, Southern District of California as a class action on December 12, 2016. In the lawsuit, Smith alleged that Citibank violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by placing automated calls to his cell phone and leaving pre-recorded and artificial messages.
Smith claimed that Citibank placed calls with an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) to his cell phone while attempting to collect a debt on his closed Best Buy credit card account. Citibank allegedly placed the ATDS calls without Smith's consent, according to the complaint.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 1991 to protect consumers from unsolicited pre-recorded or autodialed "robocall" telephone calls, text messages or faxes.
The TCPA specifically prohibits calls from companies to all wireless devices without the recipient's permission. Additionally, the TCPA prohibits companies from calling customers after the recipient of the call requests that the company cease the calls. The FCC requires private robocallers to have prior consent to use automated telephone dialing to robocall or text your cell phone.
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"Through this action, Smith suffered an invasion of his legally protected interest in privacy, which is specifically addressed and protected by the TCPA," according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit argued that Citibank's alleged robocalls forced Smith to live without being able to use his cell phone and forced him to silence his cell phone and/or block incoming numbers.
"Smith was personally affected because he was frustrated and distressed that despite his telling defendant to stop calling his on his cell phone, defendant continued to harass Smith with calls using an ATDS," according to the lawsuit.