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Federal lawsuit filed against Rays for "spamming" cell phones

A Pinellas man is seeking class-action status for the team's "unsolicited SMS activity."
Credit: Mike Ehrmann
Denard Span of the Tampa Bay Rays hits an RBI double in the eighth inning during a game against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field on April 18.

TAMPA, Fla. - A Pinellas County man has filed a federal lawsuit against the Tampa Bay Rays and is seeking class-action status for allegedly sending unsolicited text messages without prior expressed written consent, violating Federal Communications Commission rules.

James Thomas, represented by Tampa law firm Kuhn Raslavich, alleges he received a series of texts offering deals on Rays tickets but never agreed to receive such texts. He says the Rays should be liable under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and is seeking unspecified damages and other fees.

"In recent years, marketers who have often felt stymied by federal laws limiting solicitation by telephone, fax machine, and e-mail have increasingly looked to alternative technologies through which to send bulk solicitations cheaply," the suit contends.

The suit also cites a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, quoting, “Spam isn’t just for email anymore; it comes in the form of unwanted text messages of all kinds — from coupons to phishing schemes—sent directly to user’s cell phones.”

The Rays did not respond to a request for comment.

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