Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been hit with a class action lawsuit alleging the campaign texted people without permission, and should pay as much as $1,500 for each improper text message sent.
On April 25, plaintiff Joshua Thorne, identified in the court documents as a resident of Cook County, filed suit in Chicago federal court against Donald J. Trump for President Inc. – Trump’s official campaign committee – asserting Trump’s campaign violated federal telecommunications law by using an automated program to send campaign-related text messages to Thorne’s mobile phone, as well as likely phones belonging to thousands of other people, allegedly without receiving permission to do so.
Thorne is being represented in the action by the firm of Siprut P.C., of Chicago.
According to the complaint, Thorne received a text message from Trump for President on March 4. The message purportedly asked him to “Reply YES to subscribe to Donald J. Trump for President.” The message further read “Your subscription will help Make America Great Again!”
The complaint asserted the source of the message, listed as “88022” is a texting short code “leased by Trump for President or Trump for President’s agent(s) or affiliate(s) and is used for operating Trump for President’s text message marketing program.”
Thorne asserted he “did not provide prior express consent for Trump for President to send text messages” to his phone, nor did he provide his number to Trump’s campaign.”
The complaint claimed Thorne and his counsel believe the same text message and others like it have likely been sent “en masse to thousands of wireless telephone numbers or randomly generated phone numbers.”
“On information and belief, prior to sending the text messages, Trump for President entered into an agreement with Tatango to use Tatango’s software to send hundreds, if not thousands, of text messages en masse,” the complaint said.
Further, the complaint said Thorne and his counsel believe the Trump campaign received a guide on complying with federal law from Tatango prior to sending the text messages.
Thorne’s complaint asked the judge to certify a class of additional plaintiffs including anyone who received such unsolicited and unapproved text messages from the Trump campaign at any point in the last four years.
Thorne’s complaint asked the judge to order Trump’s campaign to no longer send such text messages using automated equipment to anyone who did not provide appropriate consent.
Further, the complaint asked the court to award damages of three times the amount allowed by federal law, of $500 per text message, plus attorney fees.