Consumers Can Earn $1,500 Per Telemarketing Call

Few things are as universally scorned as telemarketers. Unwanted calls and messages from debt collectors and other solicitors are so frustrating because most of us have taken the appropriate actions to make the calls stop, with no effect.

Millions of people have added their numbers to the Do Not Call Registry. Often we tell the person on the other end (assuming it’s not a recording or “robocall”) never to call back, only to hear from them again the next week or even day.

Fight Telemarketers

This invasive communication can be maddening—but it can also prove lucrative. Just ask Araceli King.


Over the course of less than a year, Araceli King of Texas received more than 150 robocalls from Time Warner Cable (TWC), aka the most hated company in America. These calls repeatedly reminded Ms. King to pay her bill, though she had never missed a payment.

In March 2014, Ms. King filed a TCPA lawsuit against TWC. Incredibly, between the time she filed the suit and the time the case went to trial, Ms. King received another 74 robocalls from TWC, which a Manhattan judge called “particularly egregious violations of the TCPA.”

In the summer of 2015, that judge ruled in Ms. King’s favor, awarding her a staggering $229,500. This reward was the maximum possible: $1,500 per call.


As per the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a consumer can receive up to $1,500 for each unlawful call or message. As seen in the case of Araceli King, these guidelines can land hefty payouts to savvy consumers.

File a Lawsuit

To find out if you are receiving unlawful calls or messages and might be eligible for compensation, consult this handy flowchart.

Several TCPA lawsuits have been settled for tens of millions of dollars.


TCPA robocall lawsuits have grown increasingly common in recent years—and increasingly successful. All of the largest such settlements occurred in the past few years:

  • Capital One: $75.5 million (Aug. 2014)
  • AT&T Mobility: $45 million (Oct. 2014)
  • HSBC: $40 million (Sep. 2014)
  • Bank of America: $32 million (Sep. 2014)
  • Midland Credit: $20.5 million (July 2016)
  • Wells Fargo: $16.3 million (July 2016)

July 2016 alone saw three massive TCPA settlements: Midland Credit ($20.5 million), Wells Fargo ($16.3 million; they also settled a TCPA case in December 2014 for $14.5 million), and American Express ($9.25 million).

All of these large companies had allegedly contacted consumers without consumers’ express permission, and they were ultimately held accountable for doing so.


The best way to fight back against unwanted calls and messages is to pursue legal action. Joining a class action lawsuit is free, surprisingly easy, and potentially very rewarding (in more ways than one). The key is to enlist the very best consumer protection firm to fight on your behalf.

Fight Telemarketers

As one of the largest such firms in the country—with 303 lawyers and a support staff of over 1,500—we are one of the few firms with the resources to take on Capital One, Wells Fargo, and other companies of this stature. We are trial lawyers who are not afraid to go up against big corporations, and we have the track record to prove it. To date, we have recovered more than $2 billion for our clients.

Morgan & Morgan has long handled lawsuits on behalf of consumers who received unwanted calls from debt collectors, banks, and other companies. If you receive these calls or messages from solicitors, our attorneys may be able to help you file a claim for compensation. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case review.

3 Reasons the FDA Was Right to Regulate E-Cigs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced sweeping regulations of the e-cigarette industry, set to become law August 8. The new measures have been met with acclaim in the public health sphere, but criticism in other circles. Here are three reasons why the FDA got these regulations right.

(1) Adolescent vaping is a public health crisis in America.

The most immediate and lasting impact of the new regulation is a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors – and thank God. From 2011 to 2015, vaping increased 900% among high schoolers. From 2013 to 2014 alone, the number of middle and high schoolers who vape tripled.

A recent study in Pediatrics suggests that instead of curbing or replacing nicotine use among adolescents, e-cigarettes increase it. The New York Times explains, “Many teenagers who never would have smoked cigarettes are now ‘vaping’ with flavored e-cigarettes, leading to a new generation using nicotine at rates not seen since the 1990s, a new study suggests.”

“Many teenagers who never would have smoked cigarettes are now ‘vaping’ with flavored e-cigarettes, leading to a new generation using nicotine at rates not seen since the 1990s, a new study suggests.”

The New York Times

For all the talk of e-cigs not being a gateway to traditional cigarettes – and even being a way for people to quit smoking – the fact remains that 70-75% of people who vape also smoke. E-cigarettes may not contain tobacco, but they do contain nicotine: the most addictive component of any cigarette.

And with fun, colorful flavors like Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy, Cupcake, and Goblin Goo (among countless others), e-cig companies target children and adolescents in their marketing with devastating efficiency.

So we have millions of middle and high schoolers getting hooked on nicotine, most of whom also smoke traditional cigarettes (or will). As noted by FDA tobacco czar Mitch Zeller, this stands in stark contrast to Europe, where youth vaping is much less common, making e-cigs less of a problem overall. 

Research suggesting that banning the sale of e-cigs to minors can increase the frequency of traditional smoking among this demographic is misleading at best. (One of the most outspoken critics of the new ban, Jonathan H. Adler, is not exactly objective on the issue: his past research has been funded by e-cig manufacturer NJOY.) The vast majority of health experts would agree that an obvious and drastic reduction in vaping among kids far outweighs a potential 0.9% increase in traditional smoking.

Keeping e-cigarettes out of children’s hands is absolutely vital. Bravo to the FDA for finally taking action on this rapidly growing public health crisis.

Take Action

(2) E-cigarette batteries explode with alarming frequency.

If we have learned anything from the recent rash of gruesome e-cig explosions, it is that their batteries are in dire need of stricter regulation.

E-cigarettes contain lithium-ion batteries – the same kind found in exploding hoverboards. There were at least 25 e-cig explosions between 2009 and 2014, at least a dozen more in 2015, and there have already been several in 2016. According to eCig One, there have been 168 explosions to date. As e-cigarettes’ popularity soars, and as more people come forward, these numbers will only rise.

In February, an e-cigarette exploded in a Kentucky man’s pocket while he waited in line at a Shell gas station. The man was rushed to the hospital with second degree burns.

Just last month, an Orange County man lost his left eye, and a 14-year-old was blinded. These explosions are becoming a weekly occurrence, and according to eCig One, of the 168 reported incidents, 101 resulted in personal injury or death. (Many also result in e-cigarette lawsuits.)

While some have argued that the FDA has overreached, Joe Cavins, the man who lost his eye to an e-cig explosion, says the new regulations don’t go far enough.

“If I would have had that in my hand or up in my mouth when it went off – I mean my God,” Cavins told NBC Los Angeles. “I’m grateful it wasn’t worse.”

(3) Grumbling about the cost of compliance misses the point.

One of the most common refrains in the wake of the FDA’s announcement is that the feds just handed Big Tobacco the vape industry on a silver platter.

Really? Then why is Big Tobacco fighting so hard to derail the regulations?

Yes, every vape product must now be vetted to FDA standards and complete a rigid, multistep application that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many smaller vape shops and companies can’t afford to submit applications for all their products, which means they could go out of business, leaving the industry to goliaths like Philip Morris.

But the FDA enacted these regulations to protect the health of consumers, not businesses. (And, for what it’s worth, most e-cigarettes are made in China.) It is not the FDA’s job to ensure that a marketplace remain level and competitive: that would be the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FDA’s job is to make sure the things people eat, drink, smoke, vape, etc. don’t exploit children or kill adults without their knowledge.

Some have referred to e-cigarettes as “lifesaving,” perpetuating the myth that anyone who picks up an e-cigarette puts down a traditional one, for good. But as noted earlier, 70-75% of vapers also smoke. And vape companies have long taken a page out of Big Tobacco’s book and marketed their poison to children, resulting in lifelong nicotine addicts who would have never touched a cigarette otherwise.

Hold Vape Companies Accountable

Nicotine is extremely addictive, and e-cigarettes contain it. Most of them also contain formaldehyde – aka embalming fluid – and diacetyl, which has been shown to cause lung disease. A January 2015 study in The New England Journal of Medicine determined that hidden formaldehyde in e-cigarettes makes the risk of developing cancer five-to-15 times higher that of traditional cigarettes.

Instead of mourning the loss of vape companies or reflexively crying “Overreach!”, we should applaud the FDA for keeping these toxins away from our children, for preventing hundreds of grisly explosions, and for forcing this industry to prove the safety of its products before they hit the market.

Trump, Facebook Sued Over TCPA Violations

He’s riding a wave of primary victories to a likely presidential nomination, but Donald J. Trump ran into some legal turbulence this week.

On Monday, an Illinois man named Joshua Thorne filed a class action suit against Mr. Trump’s campaign, alleging that it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) with unsolicited text messages that read, “Reply YES to subscribe to Donald J. Trump for President. Your subscription will help Make America Great Again!  Msg&data rates may apply.”

The next day, a man named David Roberts filed a similar suit that also alleges that the Trump campaign acquired Mr. Roberts’ phone number from an Event Brite page for a Trump campaign rally. Mr. Roberts says that although he provided his phone number, he did not offer his express written consent to receive political messages.

Free Case Review

Political Messages and Robocalls Not Exempt from TCPA

Contrary to popular misconception, political messages and robocalls are not exempt from the TCPA. The FCC recently issued a reminder that political campaigns are also subject to TCPA provisions, albeit with some exceptions.

Most notably, robocalls, autodials, and prerecorded messages from political campaigns are permitted to landlines, provided the caller identifies him/herself at the start of the call and allows the recipient to opt out from future calls.

But these kinds of calls and messages are prohibited for cellphones and other mobile devices, with three exceptions:

  • Calls made for emergency purposes
  • Calls made with the prior express consent of the recipient
  • Calls made to collect debts “owed to or guaranteed by the United States”

The FCC also emphasized to political robocallers that failure to comply with the TCPA “may subject them to enforcement action, including monetary forfeitures as high as $16,000 per violation.”

Facebook Sued for Badgering Consumers

Facebook—which, like Mr. Trump, continues to best its rivals—is not immune to the TCPA, either. A Washington, D.C. woman named Christine Holt recently filed a class action suit against the social media titan after she received a series of text messages encouraging her to update her Facebook profile and check her friends’ updates.

The only problem: Ms. Holt isn’t on Facebook, and never provided consent to receive any such communication from the company.

Apparently the messages were meant for the previous owner of her phone number, but that is unlikely to prove a strong legal defense. Ms. Holt’s attorney says she is one of thousands of consumers who receive this unwanted solicitation from Facebook.

“Notably, new owners are not provided any explicit means to contact Facebook to make the messages stop,” the complaint states. “In some instances, the messages do not even identify ‘Facebook’ as the sender, and some consumers—having no prior relationship with Facebook—may be completely unaware that Facebook is the sender.”

Fight Back

TCPA Cases—and Settlements—On the Rise

From 2010 to 2015, the number of TCPA-related cases increased almost tenfold, by 940%.

The amounts of the settlements have soared as well. The largest and most famous TCPA settlement was in August 2014, when Capital One (and three collection agencies) paid $75.5 million to end a class action suit that arose after Capital One used an autodialer to call consumers’ cellphones.

A few months later, Wells Fargo settled a similar suit for $14.5 million after it used autodialers and prerecorded messages to try and collect on consumer credit card accounts between 2009 and 2014.

Other major TCPA-related settlements include the following:

  • 2015: AmeriCredit – $6.5-8.5 million (autodialing, prerecorded messages)
  • 2015: Life Time Fitness – $15 million (text messages)
  • March 2015: Walgreen – $11 million (robocalls to cellphones)
  • March 2015: Millward Brown – $11 million (autodials and prerecorded messages to cellphones)

Most recently, Portfolio Recovery Associates (a debt collection agency) agreed to pay $18 million to settle a suit over their autodialing consumers without their consent.

You May Be Eligible for a Lawsuit

If you receive unwanted calls or messages from political campaigns or other solicitors, our attorneys may be able to help you file a claim for compensation. We assist people who are wrongly contacted by a company looking for a different person, as well as those who were contacted after requesting that a company stop calling. For each unwanted call, a consumer may be able to collect between $500 and $1,500.

If you have questions about your rights under the TCPA, contact us today and fill out a free, no-obligation case review.

Jury Awards $72 Million to Family of Baby Powder Victim

Johnson & Johnson describes its 120-year-old baby powder as “a classic.” Indeed, for decades, millions of people have used the powder on their bodies and their children’s.

Which is what makes Jacqueline Fox’s death from ovarian cancer so scary.

Like millions of people across America, Ms. Fox used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder religiously, and did so for 35 years. Tragedy struck in 2013, when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Ms. Fox passed away from the disease last fall at age 62—but not before filing a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn her of the cancer risk associated with using baby powder for feminine hygiene.

She was just one of 1,200 women who have filed suit against Johnson & Johnson for negligence.

Join the Lawsuit

A pathologist determined that Ms. Fox’s ovaries became inflamed and then cancerous from the talc. Internal memos suggested Johnson & Johnson executives knew of the risks; one of their medical consultants even compared talc use to smoking.

In February, a Missouri jury awarded Ms. Fox’s family $72 million.

Johnson & Johnson expressed disappointment in the decision, which it will appeal. The company also posted a fact sheet on its blog, which notes the following:

  • Its talc products have not contained asbestos since the 1970s.
  • Talc has been approved for use all over the world.
  • The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has not identified it as elevating risk for ovarian cancer.
  • Two large-scale studies (the only ones, according to Johnson & Johnson) “found no causal relationship between talc and ovarian cancer.”

But serious questions about talc remain.

Baby Powder Linked to Ovarian Cancer

Talc, the softest mineral known to man, has been the main component of Johnson’s Baby Powder since its release in 1893. Despite its enduring popularity and widespread use, its legacy is marred by health concerns.

Until the 1970s, baby powder contained asbestos, which has been linked to mesothelioma. Johnson & Johnson has since removed the asbestos, but some studies have shown an increased risk of ovarian cancer for women who use talc for feminine hygiene.

A 1999 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute noted, “Perineal talc use has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer in a number of case-control studies,” and concluded that “perineal talc use may modestly increase the risk of invasive serious ovarian cancer.”

In 2013, the American Association for Cancer Research published findings that talc powder “is associated with a modest 20-30 percent increase in risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer.”

“How Can You Put a Value on a Life?”

That same year, Deane Berg sued Johnson & Johnson after contracting ovarian cancer she alleges arose from her regular baby powder use. She turned down a $1.3 million settlement and took the case to court, where Johnson & Johnson was found guilty of negligence, fraud, and conspiracy, but not required to pay Ms. Berg any damages. (She says it was never about the money.)

In a heartfelt 2016 editorial published in the wake of the Fox decision, Ms. Berg writes, “There was no ovarian cancer in my family. I didn’t smoke. I wasn’t overweight. The one risk factor that stood out was my use of talcum powder.”

Hold J&J Accountable

Ms. Berg, a physician’s assistant, adds, “I believe that talc can cause ovarian cancer in women,” and concludes, “Some people think $72 million is excessive, but I don’t think so. How can you put a value on a life?”

Frightening Lack of Safety Standards for Cosmetics Industry

Incredibly, the cosmetics industry’s safety standards have not been updated since the passage of the egregiously outdated Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in 1938.

In April 2015, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D – California) and Susan Collins (R – Maine) co-sponsored the Personal Care Products Safety Act to give the FDA more oversight, including the power to require recalls of dangerous products. The bill received support from the cosmetics industry and consumer advocacy groups like the Environmental Working Group (EWG), but has yet to make it through Congress.

Last month, a national poll by the Mellman Group and American Viewpoint found that 68% of likely voters favor stricter regulation of the cosmetics industry to ensure the safety of its products.

This overwhelming support is unsurprising given the 1,200 Johnson & Johnson lawsuits—and the 17,000 complaints over Guthy-Renker’s WEN hair conditioner, which has allegedly caused thousands of women’s hair to fall out. (Two hundred women have filed suit against Guthy-Renker. That case is still pending.)

If you or a loved one has suffered after using baby powder or any other cosmetic product, please contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation due to negligence on the part of the manufacturer.