Sirius Radio wants telemarketing suit moved to federal court

By Audrey Holsclaw | Jun 4, 2008

CLARKSBURG -- A Harrison County couple is pursuing a lawsuit against Sirius Satellite Radio after 16 months of illegal telemarketing activity.

Sirius Satellite Radio is now seeking a removal to the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Douglas and Susanne Dorrer of Clarksburg filed a complaint on May 12, 2008, in the Circuit Court of Harrison County alleging multiple violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 and the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act (CCPA) after 16 months of collection phone calls by Sirius Satellite Radio.

The couple does not nor never has subscribed to Sirius Satellite Radio.

According to the suit, filed by Christopher Davis of the Clarksburg firm of Davis Law Offices, the phone calls began in early January 2007 with a recorded voice saying that the account is overdue and to press one to talk to a representative. Patiently, the Dorrers would press one, inform the telemarketer that they were not customers of Sirius Satellite Radio, that whoever they were looking for did not live at their address, and specifically to "Please put my name on your 'do not call' list."

On Feb. 23, 2007, seeking relief, the Dorrers registered their phone number on the FCC Do Not Call List. However, they continued to receive phone calls.

Toward the end of many of the conversations with telemarketers, the Dorrers claim they were mocked, harassed, and hung up on for requesting to be put on the "Do Not Call" list or stating that their number was registered with the FCC Do Not Call List.

The Dorrers were seeking damages $500 per phone call, which total about 45, for each TCPA and CCPA violation, compensatory damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress and neglience, attorney's fees, common-law relief, and interest.

Filed by Bryant Spann and Debra Price of the Charleston firm of Allen Guthrie McHugh & Thomas on May 30, 2008, Sirius Satellite Radio is seeking a removal to federal court because of diversity of citizenship and the amount in controversy. Sirius Satellite Radio is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in New York, and the Dorrers are Clarksburg residents. While no sum is named in the Dorrers' suit, the damages they are seeking can be tripled and adjusted for inflation due to the language of the TCPA and CCPA, so the sum will most likely exceed $75,000.

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