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Smiles at Sea Junk Fax Class Action Lawsuit

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smile at sea junk fax class action lawsuit

This lawsuit alleges Smiles at Sea sent unsolicited faxes advertising on-board cruise ship dental continuing education opportunities without providing required opt-out information to individuals in violation of federal telephone consumer protection laws.

New Jersey resident Richard Marcus received an unsolicited fax on February 24, 2015 from Smiles at Sea, a provider of dental profession continuing education course opportunities on cruise ships, sent by means of a telephone facsimile machine that had the capacity to transcribe text or images.  Smiles at Sea is alleged to regularly advertise its goods and services to recipients by transmitting fax advertisements.

The fax solicited his business by advising him that Smiles at Sea sells an opportunity to take continuing education courses while on a cruise ship. Marcus had no prior established business relationship with the company, had never used company services, nor had he given the company his consent to receive unsolicited fax advertisements.

On September 15, 2015, Marcus filed a class action suit alleging Smiles at Sea had engaged in violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) for transmitting one or more facsimiles advertising the commercial availability or quality of property, goods, or services, without having obtained prior express invitation or permission to transmit the faxes during the period beginning four years prior to the date he filed his claim.  The TCPA prohibits the use any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send, to a telephone facsimile machine, an unsolicited advertisement, unless:

(i) the unsolicited advertisement is from a sender with an established businessrelationship with the recipient;

(ii) the sender obtained the number of the telephone facsimile machine through—

(I) the voluntary communication of such number, within the context of such establishedbusiness relationship, from the recipient of the unsolicited advertisement, or

(II) a directory, advertisement, or site on the internet to which the recipient voluntarilyagreed to make available its facsimile number for public distribution, and

(iii) the unsolicited advertisement contains a notice meeting statutory requirements.

Additionally, the suit claims the faxed advertisements failed to include the mandated proper notice of the recipient’s ability to opt-out of receiving the facsimiles, in further violation of the TCPA and accompanying regulations.  Smiles at Sea is alleged to have no procedure or means for recipients who do not consent to receiving the faxes to stop receiving them.

Marcus claims the Smiles at Sea unsolicited faxed advertising damages recipients by:

  • depriving recipients of paper and ink or toner and the use of the fax machine;
  • wasting recipients’ valuable time that would have spent on other matters; and
  • preventing recepients' fax machines from receiving and sending authorized faxes, causing wear and tear on fax machines, and requiring labor to attempt to identify the source and purpose of the unsolicited faxes.

Marcus seeks class certification for all U.S. persons in the United States who received any unsolicited fax advertisement on their telephone facsimile machines from Smiles at Sea, and advertisements that failed to properly notify the recipient of their ability to opt-out of receiving such fax advertisements from Defendant in the future. The suit seeks damages and injunctive relief for recovery of economic injury on behalf of the class, requesting $500.00 in statutory damages and treble damages, as provided by statute, up to $1,500.00, for each violation.

Current Case Status: 

The defendant has not yet responded.  We will update the status in December, 2015.

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