Florida’s Electronic Mail Communications Act (FEMCA) regulates e-mail, including those sent to consumers and generally referred to as “spam.” The complaint for this class action alleges that NCWC, Inc. and Palmer Administrative Services, Inc. have violated the law by sending deceptive spam e-mails purportedly about servicing for the recipients’ cars.
The class for this action is all persons in Florida who, between September 23, 2015 and September 23, 2019, were sent the same unsolicited commercial e-mail as the one sent to the plaintiff in this case by NCWC, Palmer, or anyone acting on their behalf.
The complaint quotes FEMCA as saying it “is intended to promote the integrity of electronic commerce and shall be construed liberally in order to protect the public and legitimate businesses from deceptive and unsolicited commercial electronic mail.”
The law forbids transmission of an e-mail, either from a computer in Florida or to an e-mail address held by a resident of Florida, if that e-mail contains false or misleading information in the subject line. A violation of this section of the law “shall be deemed an unfair and deceptive trade practice…” under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA).
At issue is an e-mail sent to plaintiff Monica George on September 11, 2019 by NCWC and Palmer. According to the complaint, NCWC “markets auto service warranties on behalf of Palmer and Palmer provides warranty coverage to policies sold by NCWC.”
The e-mail had the subject line, “MONICA GEORGE – Important HYUNDAI service information,” implying that the e-mail was about necessary service for George’s vehicle. In reality, the e-mail was attempting to see George an extended warranty plan for her vehicle. It suggested that she should “Get your free quote now.”
The complaint claims that the subject line was thus false or misleading.
The message, the complaint says, “constitutes an unsolicited commercial electronic mail message under FEMCA because (1) it was sent to promote the sale or lease of, or investment in, property, goods, or services related to any trade or commerce; and (2) it was sent without [George’s] affirmative or implied consent.”
The sole count named is violation of FEMCA. The complaint asks for “an injunction to prohibit [NCWC and Palmer] from further harming consumers, liquidated damages of $500 for each unsolicited commercial electronic mail message sent by [NCWC and Palmer] to [George] and members of the Class, as well as their attorney’s fees and costs.”