Widener Law Alumni Score Major Victory for Cell Phone Consumers
Christy D'Antonio - Published: August 29, 2013
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Adjunct Professor Cary L. Flitter '81 of Flitter Lorenz P.C.

Well-respected consumer law attorney Cary L. Flitter ‘81 and co-counsel Carlo Sabatini – who is an alumnus of Widener Law’s Harrisburg campus – recently scored a major victory for cell phone consumers. On August 22, 2013, The Third Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a major decision holding that The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protects consumers from unwanted automated telephone calls.

Pennsylvania resident Ashley Gager financed a computer purchase through Dell and listed her cell phone number as her home number. Ms. Gager was forced to quit her job when a pregnancy required mandatory bed rest. As a result she was unable to continue making payments to Dell Financial. Ms. Gager received numerous calls – nearly 40 in a 3-week period – despite the fact that she wrote the collection agency requesting they stop calling. These calls were all from an automated dialing system.

Ms. Gager filed suit against Dell Financial citing TCPA, which is supposed to protect consumers from these unwanted automated calls. The case, Ashley Gager v. Dell Financial Services, LLC, was dismissed because according to the court, “once the consumer provides consent to be called, it may never be revoked.” Flitter appealed the decision and argued on behalf of Ms. Gager before the Third Circuit, which determined that, “TCPA permits consumers to revoke consent to be called or texted on their cell phones, even after consent is initially provided.”

“Today’s decision by the appellate court will set a new standard across the U.S.,” stated Mr. Flitter. “We are pleased with this ruling, and will continue to fight for consumers’ rights to be free from unwanted calls and text messages to their cell phones.”