Ashland Hosp. Corp. v. Serv. Emps. Int’l Union

KDMC operates a regional medical center. SEIU is a labor union that represents health care and social service workers and has a collective bargaining agreement with KDMC. In 2010, concerned about the cost of health care for KDMC employees, SEIU launched a two-day robo-call campaign, targeting KDMC, to protest proposals that would shift a larger cost to employees. Residents within KDMC’s service area received calls from an automated system that played a prerecorded voice message criticizing KDMC’s plans in dramatic terms. The message did not disclose that the SEIU was responsible for the call. Call recipients who opted to press “1” during the call were patched through to the direct extension for KDMC CEO Jackson. KDMC alleges that Jackson’s extension received 536 live calls over the two-day period and that the high volume of calls overwhelmed its main trunk lines. KDMC filed suit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 47 U.S.C. 227. The district court dismissed, holding that the Act does not extend to purposeful calls made by individuals seeking to express an opinion, noting that the calls required a real person to “exercise independent judgment” in order to connect to Jackson. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. View "Ashland Hosp. Corp. v. Serv. Emps. Int'l Union" on Justia Law