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Louisiana, other states, sue firm over robocalls to numbers on 'Do Not Call' lists
PHOENIX — Attorneys general across the U.S. have filed a lawsuit against a telecommunications company, accusing it of making more than 7.5 billion robocalls to people on the national Do Not Call Registry.
The 141-page lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix against Avid Telecom, its owner Michael D. Lansky and company vice president Stacey S. Reeves. It seeks a jury trial to determine damages. The company said it works to comply with all state and federal laws.
The lawsuit arises from the nationwide, bipartisan Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force of 51 attorneys general and the District of Columbia. It was formed last year to investigate and take legal action against telecommunications companies making volumes of robocall traffic.
"Many of these calls are scams designed to pressure frightened consumers, often senior citizens, into handing over their hard-earned money,” Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a statement.
The lawsuit said Avid Telecom used spoofed or invalid caller ID numbers, including more than 8.4 million calls that appeared to be coming from government and law enforcement agencies, as well as private companies.
Louisiana was among the states to join the lawsuit, which alleges the company sent or transmitted scam calls about the Social Security Administration, Medicare, Amazon and DirecTV, as well as auto warranties, employment and credit card interest rate reductions.
“Americans are sick and tired of their phones ringing off the hook with fraudulent robocalls,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “Seniors and vulnerable consumers have been scammed out of millions because of these illegal robocalls.”
The lawsuit alleges Lansky and Reeves violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws.
“Avid Telecom operates in a manner that is compliant with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations,” said Neil Ende, the company’s outside legal counsel. “The company has never been found by any court or regulatory authority to have transmitted unlawful traffic and it is prepared to meet with the attorneys general, as it has on many occasions in the past, to further demonstrate its good faith and lawful conduct."
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