According to USA Today’s July 8, 2015 article, a woman was awarded a damages of $229,500 for being harassed by Time Warner Cable. The cable company solicited Araceli King with 153 robocalls despite her complaints and direct requests to cease and desist.
Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Manhattan federal court decided to triple the typical $500 per call penalty due to the “particularly egregious” actions he attributed to Time Warner Cable. The additional $1,000 per call alters any cost benefit analysis that Time Warner may have previously applied when considering the possibility of this situation and severely ratchets up the penalty.
Whether Time Warner successfully appeals this ruling or not, Judge Hellerstein has decisively held Time Warner accountable for the acts of its automated systems, allowing no diffusion of responsibility for instances when robots replace human beings. There is no doubt that other companies who rely on robocalls will re-assess the integrity of their automated systems as a result of this award.