On appeal in Grigorian v. FCA US LLC, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the holding of Judge Cooke, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, that Mariam Grigorian (“Mariam”), Plaintiff and Appellant, lacked Article III standing in her Telephone Consumer Protection Act claim against FCA US, LLC (“FCA”), Defendant and Appellee.
In that case, Mariam filed suit on behalf of a putative class of over 89,000 others – alleging that FCA violated the TCPA by utilizing a third-party vendor to transmit a prerecorded message to Mariam’s cell phone voicemail advertising FCA’s Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan without Mariam’s prior express consent.
A plaintiff must establish three elements to invoke Article III standing: “the plaintiff must have ‘(1) suffered an injury in fact, (2) that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct of the defendant, and (3) that is likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.’”
The Eleventh Circuit focused its analysis on whether Mariam met her burden of establishing that she had “suffered an injury in fact” by evidencing “an invasion of a legally protected interest that is concrete and particularized and actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.” Mariam alleged that the “invasion of privacy, aggravation, annoyance, and intrusion of seclusion” resulted in injury sufficient to establish standing. Specifically, while admitting she was still able to receive data and calls as she listened to the voicemail, Mariam contended that she “incur[red] a loss of time” she could have otherwise spent studying for the Florida bar exam, and could not use her phone for another purpose. FCA contended that Mariam was simply alleging a “bare procedural violation” of the TCPA, and consequently, failed to meet her burden.
While the Eleventh Circuit found that precedent in Palm Beach Golf Center-Boca, Inc. v. John G. Sarris, DDS, PA and Salcedo v. Hanna established that “intangible costs, such as the loss of time and unavailability of the device, may suffice to show standing,” it held that Mariam failed to provide “facts to show that the single prerecorded voicemail rendered her phone unavailable to receive legitimate calls or messages for any period of time.” Accordingly, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the District Court holding that Mariam failed to meet her burden of establishing Article III standing.