The U.S. Supreme Courtroom restricted the attain of the decades-old federal ban on robocalls, throwing out a lawsuit that accused Fb Inc. of repeatedly sending undesirable textual content messages.

The unanimous resolution overturns a decrease courtroom ruling that Fb mentioned would have put firms prone to large harm awards for comparatively small transgressions. It’s a victory for enterprise commerce teams that rallied across the Fb enchantment.

Writing for the courtroom, Justice Sonia Sotomayor mentioned the person suing Fb, Noah Duguid, was urgent such an expansive interpretation of the robocall regulation that it will have lined some calls and texts positioned by fashionable cellphones. She mentioned Congress didn’t intend such a sweeping influence when it handed the Phone Client Safety Act in 1991.

Duguid’s interpretation “would take a chainsaw to those nuanced issues when Congress meant to make use of a scalpel,” Sotomayor wrote.

Duguid mentioned he acquired repeated texts from Fb in 2014 notifying him of an tried log-in, regardless that he didn’t have an account. Fb mentioned Duguid in all probability had a recycled telephone quantity that had as soon as been related to an account. The lawsuit sought class motion standing.

The TCPA permits penalties as excessive as $1,500 for each undesirable name or textual content. The ban applies to dialing techniques that may “retailer or produce phone numbers to be referred to as, utilizing a random or sequential quantity generator.”

The important thing query was whether or not the limiting phrase on the finish applies solely to techniques that produce numbers, as Duguid contended, or additionally to people who merely retailer numbers, as Fb argued.

Residence Depot Inc., Quicken Loans LLC, CVS Corp.’s Aetna and United HealthCare Providers Inc. all signed briefs backing Fb, with some saying they’d been topic to related lawsuits. The Trump administration additionally sided with Fb when the case was argued in December.

A separate provision of the anti-robocall regulation protects residential telephones from calls that use synthetic or recorded voices.

The case is Fb v. Duguid, 19-511.

Bloomberg Information