Seventh Circuit rules on junk fax case about 3rd party senders

Last Update: August 9th, 2021

In a case on junk faxes, the seventh circuit court recently ruled that a company that hired a company to send faxes on their behalf was not liable for violating junk fax rules for a mass fax broadcast larger than they ordered.

The client ordered 100 faxes to be sent within a 20 mile radius of Terre Haute, Indiana – instead, the fax broadcast company sent more than 5,000 junk faxes across a three state area – blanketing Indiana, Illionois, and Ohio with the company’s fax advertisement.

The company was found guilty of junk fax rules and had to pay $16,000 to 32 recipients ($500 each) within the 20 mile radius.

The seventh circuit ruling was about the remainder of the claimants in the lawsuit – those outside the 20 mile radius that the company had requested faxes to be sent to.

According to the seventh circuit ruling (which upheld the district court’s ruling), the company was not liable for these additional faxes as it was outside of the original order that they made – and sent without their authorization.

Sources and more information:

TCPA Vicarious Liability Analysis Applies to Junk Fax Provisions, Seventh Circuit Holds by David M Krueger

Seventh Circuit: Defendant Not Liable for Faxes Sent Outside of Agreed-Upon Range by Christine M. Reilly and Marc Roth

Seventh Circuit Affirms District Court Ruling That TCPA Fax Regulations Are Not Strict Liability by Justin O. Kay and Emily T. Broach