Beto O’Rourke Campaign Hit With Robotext Lawsuit (1)

Oct. 22, 2018, 5:10 PMUpdated: Oct. 22, 2018, 8:17 PM

Beto O’Rourke’s U.S. Senate campaign is facing class claims for allegedly sending Texas voters unwanted text messages as part of his bid to unseat GOP Sen. Ted Cruz.

Texas resident Sameer Syed alleged the Democrat’s “Beto for Texas” campaign violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by using an autodialer to send him at least nine texts without permission. The texts came from an autodialer because the messages were pre-recorded, and attempts to call the sender resulted in error messages, Syed alleged in an Oct. 19 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Courts are struggling to define autodialers following a federal appeals court ruling that struck down a Federal Communications Commission interpretation of the term. The TCPA requires companies to obtain express prior consent for making calls or sending texts using such devices.

The “Beto for Texas” campaign consists of thousands of Texans canvassing and texting and is “fully compliant with the law,” Chris Evans, the campaign’s communications director, told Bloomberg Law.

Shawn Jaffer Law Firm PLLC is representing Syed.

The case is Syed v. Beto for Texas, N.D. Tex., No. 3:18-cv-2791, complaint filed 10/19/18.

(Updated with additional reporting, including O'Rourke campaign comment)

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Kramer in Washington at akramer@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com

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