In Telephone Science Corporation v. Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC, 2015 WL 7444409, at *2-3 (M.D.Fla., 2015), Judge Mendoza stayed a TCPA fax class action pending the outcome of Spokeo.
As an initial matter, Telephone Science attempts to avoid a stay by distinguishing Spokeo, wherein the core issue is whether the alleged FCRA violation is a sufficient injury-in-fact. Particularly, Telephone Science maintains that it does not allege bare violations of the TCPA; rather, it also alleges out-of-pocket expenses in the form of per-minute charges for received calls. According to Telephone Science, such out-of-pocket expenses are an adequate injury-in-fact under the constitutional standing inquiry. See I.L. v. Alabama, 739 F.3d 1273, 1278 (11th Cir.2014) (“Standing is one of the Article III case or controversy requirements…. To have standing, the plaintiffs must demonstrate injury in fact, causation, and redressability.”); see also id. (“An injury in fact is ‘an invasion of a legally protected interest which is (a) concrete and particularized and (b) actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.’ ” (quoting Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992))). Nevertheless, such an argument fails to consider that standing “cannot be dispensed in gross.” Id. at 1279 (quotation omitted). Assuming that the alleged out-of-pocket expenses confer standing to challenge the expense-inducing calls,3 such a result would say nothing about whether standing exists to challenge the expense-free calls.4 See Davis v. Fed. Election Comm’n, 554 U.S. 724, 734 (2008) (“ ‘[A] plaintiff must demonstrate standing for each claim he seeks to press’ and ‘for each form of relief’ that is sought.” (quoting DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, 547 U.S. 332, 352 (2006)).5 In the least, Telephone Science makes no attempt to show how an injury flowing from one set of calls operates to confer standing as to another set of calls, where no such injury resulted. See Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560 (noting that the resulting injury must be “particularized” and “actual”). In the absence of such a showing, it appears that the latter set of calls is grounded solely in technical violations of the TCPA. Whether such allegations are sufficient under Article III is at issue in Spokeo. The Court will exercise its discretion to stay this case pending the Supreme Court’s resolution of Spokeo. As noted, the issue in Spokeo boils down to whether bare statutory violations are sufficient to confer Article III standing. While that case involves claims under the FCRA, the constitutional question extends to the TCPA. Additionally, even assuming that Spokeo would not affect the present TCPA claims with regard to the expense-inducing calls, it would affect the TCPA claims with regard to the expense-free calls, which Telephone Science concedes make up the bulk of its case. (See Foss Decl. ¶¶ 10, 13). Particularly, a broad substantive holding by the Spokeo Court in either direction would presumptively dispose of the relevant subject-matter jurisdiction concerns as to the expense-free calls. On the other hand, if the Spokeo Court were to adopt a middle ground, see Palm Beach Golf Ctr.-Boca, Inc. v. John G. Sarris, D.D.S., P.A., 781 F.3d 1245, 1250– 51 (11th Cir.2015); see also Robins, 742 F.3d at 413–14, then the forthcoming decision would guide this Court’s analysis. Moreover, this case is relatively young. The deadline for moving to amend the pleadings is over three months away. There is little advantage to proceeding with discovery and motions practice where the viability of much of the claims is to be shortly ascertained, especially considering that those claims will be the topic of such discovery and motions practice. Lastly, there is no indication that Telephone Science will suffer any prejudice for which a legal remedy would not suffice. Thus, this case will be temporarily stayed.