Lyft Sued for Sending Texts that Violate the TCPA

On Wednesday, rideshare provider Lyft, Inc. was sued by plaintiff Jaime Smith for supposedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). According to the Eastern District of New York class action complaint, Smith received unsolicited automated text messages from Lyft, “a company that develops and markets a mobile app offering ridesharing and other transportation services,” asking her to sign up for Lyft, without first asking for and obtaining her consent.

The filing states that the TCPA makes it “unlawful for any person … to make any call (other than a call made for  emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a paging service, cellular telephone service … or any service for which the called party is charged for the call.” The complaint also sets forth several statutory definitions, including a definition for consent.

The plaintiff avers that she “has had no association at all with Defendant,” and did not give Lyft her contact information or consent to receive automated texts. The complaint contends that Lyft also sent unsolicited marketing messages to others, who likewise never consented to the communication.

In turn, the plaintiff seeks to represent a nationwide class of people who received an unsolicited text message from Lyft in the last four years. Alternatively, the plaintiff seeks to certify a class of persons in New York who received messages during the same time period.

In addition to class certification, the plaintiff and putative class seek declaratory and injunctive relief, and ask that the injunctive relief restrains the defendant from committing further violations of the TCPA. The single-count complaint also seeks statutory damages, trebled, should the court find that the violations were willful and knowing, attorneys’ fees, and other relief deemed appropriate.

The plaintiff is represented by Lee Litigation Group, PLLC.