Mike Lindell, the infamous MyPillow CEO who has burned substantial amounts of his time, fortune and reputation in attempting to overturn the 2020 election, has been hit with a class action lawsuit unrelated to his political travails.
Class plaintiffs have accused Lindell of a veritable tsunami of violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a consumer protection law that restricts the use of telemarketing through phone calls, text messages and fax.
In 2021 Lindell launched an app called “Frank Speech,” a self-described “conservative broadcast network and video platform” which he hoped would eventually rival YouTube and Facebook. He collected a lengthy list of personal information from people who signed up to receive information about Frank Speech. However, he then took this list and commenced to bombard the people on it with unsolicited text messages advertising and promoting MyPillow products.
The plaintiffs’ motion for class certification asserts that a total of 238,164,322 marketing text messages were sent to mobile phone numbers on behalf of Frank Speech and My Pillow. The plaintiffs further assert that Lindell and his company never obtained valid consent to use the personal information on the list to promote other unrelated products such as MyPillow, and therefore violated the TCPA – hundreds of millions of times.
The TCPA allows for recovery of damages of up to $500 for each phone call or text message that violates TCPA requirements. Additionally, plaintiffs can recover up to $1500 for each phone call or text message if they can show that the defendant violated the TCPA’s rules knowingly and willfully.
As an example of the penalties that Lindell is potentially exposed to here, if 238,164,322 text messages are found to have violated the law, and Lindell is charged a $500 penalty for each, he would be on the hook to pay $119 billion in fines. Even if the fine was only assessed at $10 per text message, he would still pay $2.4 billion.
If this happens, he had better hope people start buying a lot more MyPillows.