By Aaron M. Swift, Esq.
On Friday, December 19th,2014, a consumer filed a class-action lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy, Inc. alleging that CVS sent automatic text messages to consumers nationwide in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The suit accuses CVS of sending thousands—if tens of thousands—of text messages to consumers without the requisite consent to do so. Specifically, the suit alleges that “by sending the text messages at issue… [CVS] caused plaintiffs and members of the class actual harm, including the aggravation and nuisance that necessarily accompanies the receipt of unsolicited text messages.”
The issues in the case are two-fold. First, the suit alleges that CVS’ process of allowing consumers to opt-out of the text messaging program is unlawful. Initially, consumers provide consent to receive automatic text messages to their cellular telephones reminding pharmacy customers to refill their prescriptions or that their prescriptions are available for pick-up. The problem for CVS, however, is the fact that once a consumer chooses to opt-out of the program, CVS would nonetheless then send an additional automatic text message notifying them of the opt-out. Second, the suit also alleges that CVS unlawfully sent automatic text messages to consumers regarding marketing and promotional opportunities—such as availability of the flu shot. The problem is that the consumers consented to receive prescription notifications but not other marketing or promotional information. The suit is Thompson v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No.: 6:14-cv-02081. Interestingly, a separate class-action lawsuit was filed against CVS in May of this year regarding unlawful automatic telephone calls to consumers’ cellular telephones advertising the pharmacy’s flu shot services. That case, Lowe v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., is currently pending in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois.
If you or someone you know have received unwanted or unsolicited text messages to your cellular phone, please contact LeavenLaw at (727) 327-3328. Our experienced consumer law attorneys are dedicated to fighting corporations and banks against violations of consumers’ privacy. In fact, we have extensive experience in TCPA and class-action litigation. For more information, please visit www.leavenlaw.com.