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Scientiae, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Junk Fax TCPA Class Action

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Ads sent to consumers by fax are also covered under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This class action brings suit against Scientiae, LLC and Montefiore Medicine Academic Health System, Inc., which does business as Albert Einstein College of Medicine, over unwanted advertising faxes sent to consumers.

On April 29, 2019, plaintiff Retina Associates Medical Group was sent a fax ad advertising an injection workshop in Los Angeles, California. The workshop cost $299 and certain persons would be able to earn continuing medical education (CME) credits by taking it. 

The fax contained what the complaint calls a Designation Statement, which included the sentence, “This activity is jointly provided by Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Scientiae, LLC.”

The complaint says that the fax was “unsolicited” because it was sent to Retina without Retina’s express invitation or permission.

The fax also does not have a proper opt-out notice. Under the TCPA, the opt-out notice must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be clear and conspicuous and on the first page.
  • It must say that the recipient may request that the sender not send any future advertisements.
  • It must say that failure to comply with this request within thirty days is unlawful.
  • It must have a domestic contact telephone number or a fax number for sending the opt-out request.

According to the complaint, Scientiae is well aware that sending such faxes is unlawful, because it was sued in 2010 for the same thing. The case was later voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff, but the complaint contends that this was “presumably because Scientiae paid to settle the case.” 

At that time, the complaint notes, Scientiae did provide proper opt-out notices on its junk faxes. So not only has it not stopped sending junk faxes to consumers; it has decided to skip providing proper opt-out notices.

The class for this action is

  • All persons in the US 
  • Who were sent a fax message advertising the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services by or on behalf of the defendants in this case,
  • On or after September 6, 2015,
  • Where the defendants cannot provide evidence of prior express invitation or permission for the sending of such faxes, and
  • With whom the defendants do not have an established business relationship, and
  • Where the fax message did not display an opt-out notice on the first page that met the requirements of the TCPA.
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