In April, we exposed the junk car kingpin who has been sending incessant text message spam to all of South Florida. (Reminder: Gregorio A. Tejera's number is (305) 303-0119. I'm sure he's enjoyed hearing from all of you for the last month.)
Now an attorney is preparing a class-action lawsuit against several of the players involved in the text spam. And under federal law, the damages for each text message could potentially be $500. Considering some of you have complained of getting these texts almost every day... you might be able to sell that junk car after all.
Attorney Scott Owens said he first read about the junk car spammers from our article. We documented the heroic efforts of a reader we nicknamed Roscoe, who frequently baited the senders of the text into driving all across the county for cars that didn't exist. After calling a bunch of the phone numbers ourselves and knocking on doors associated with the numbers, we finally received a call from Tejera, who claimed his texts were legal.
Owens disagrees. If Tejera was using an automated system to send the texts-- which appears likely-- then, the attorney argues, he violated the Federal Consumer Protection Act. The law carries damages of $500 to the spammed for each phone call in violation, and judges have agreed in past cases that a text counts as a phone call.
Owens is a specialist in this sort of litigation. He sued Tootsie's Cabaret in Miami Gardens for spamming strip club patrons about a Rolex watch giveaway.
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Owens expects to file suit against the junk car spammers this week or the next. Because of the murky nature of the texts, he's going with a machine-gun approach-- naming as defendants anybody he can find who is involved in the junk cars operation. We will post the complaint here as soon as he files it.
If you're in the mood for some comeuppance, you might want to email Owens and tell him you want in on the suit.