Photo of Virginia Bell Flynn

Virginia is a partner in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services practice and specifically within the Financial Services Litigation practice. She represents clients in federal and state court, both at the trial and appellate level in the areas of complex litigation and business disputes, health care litigation, including ERISA and out-of-network issues, and consumer litigation in over 21 states nationwide. As a result of new legal developments, she increasingly counsels clients to ensure they comply with the myriad of growing laws in the consumer law with a particular emphasis on the intersection of TCPA and HIPAA.

A U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Missouri recently dismissed a lawsuit under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), finding that two letters sent to the plaintiffs’ attorney did not constitute harassment or abuse under 15 U.S.C. § 1692d.

A U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland recently denied summary judgment in a case under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), finding that the defendant failed to show it received prior express written consent for telemarketing calls.

On May 31, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals published an opinion in Bristol SL Holdings, Inc. v. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, which has significant implications for the healthcare industry, most notably by clarifying the broad scope of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (ERISA) preemption of state law causes of action arising from pre-service coverage communications between medical providers and health plan administrators.

The Court of Appeals of Indiana recently upheld a lower court’s decision that a debt buyer who purchased a portfolio of defaulted student loans and placed an account with a collection agency qualifies as a “debt collector” under both Indiana state law and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

In Soliman v. Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, Ltd, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending a text message to her cell phone using an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) and which utilized an “artificial or prerecorded voice.” The Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to dismiss the case because the TCPA did not apply.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has recently underscored the fact that a plaintiff does not automatically gain Article III standing under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) simply because they are confused by a letter.

In March, a district court in the Eastern District of California followed other courts holding that an undated, model form debt validation notice does not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Specifically, the court found that the plaintiff’s barebones allegations about purported financial, reputational, and emotional harm did not confer Article III standing.

On April 2, the California Senate Judicial Committee passed Senate Bill 1061. The bill seeks to prevent health care providers and contracted collection agencies from providing information about patients’ medical debt to credit reporting agencies. The bill would also prevent credit reporting agencies from accepting, storing, or sharing information related to medical debt.

A U.S. district court in the Eastern District of New York recently denied a motion for summary judgment filed by a credit card issuer because the plaintiff alleged identity theft and a reasonable factfinder could determine the issuer’s investigation was willfully unreasonable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

On February 15, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved amendments to the rules and regulations implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The adopted Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking implemented new rules regarding revocation of consent to robocalls and robotexts — clarifying rulings from 2012 and 2015. The FCC’s goal was to “strengthen consumers’ ability to revoke consent so that it is simple and easy.”