A judge in North Carolina has increased an award for some customers contacted by Dish Network. This move could make Dish liable for as much as $60 million in payouts. U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles said Dish and its agent Satellite Systems Network “willingly and knowingly” violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which limits telephone solicitations and requires companies to abide by the Do Not Call List. More than 220 million Americans have numbers registered on the list.
In January, a jury in Greensboro, North Carolina, awarded $400 each to more than 50,000 people on the Do Not Call List who had filed suit against Dish. Judge Eagle tripled the award from the class action lawsuit to $1,200 a person. The suit, filed by Dr. Thomas Krakauer of Bahama, North Carolina, claimed Dish made 51,119 calls to 18,066 phone numbers. It appears this was the first jury trial on a class-action case alleging Do Not Call violations.
The settlement covers people who received telemarketing calls from Dish or Satellite Systems between May 1, 2010, and Aug. 1, 2011. To be eligible, customers must have been on the Do Not Call list for 30 days before receiving the calls or be on the internal do-not-call list for either company.
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