SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued the following statement in response to an appellate court decision that upholds a lower court judgment and injunction against Dish Network. Today’s ruling in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the June 2017 trial court judgment holding the company accountable for engaging in an illegal nationwide telemarketing campaign. Dish Network, both directly and through its authorized direct marketing businesses, made millions of unwanted calls to people on the Do Not Call Registry and tens of millions of illegal robocalls, many directed to California residents.
The Seventh Circuit rejected Dish's arguments that it should not be liable for the illegal telemarketing calls of its retailers. The appellate court also rejected Dish’s claims that the penalties for such conduct were unconstitutionally excessive. The Seventh Circuit remanded questions on the calculation of damages and penalties to the district court.
“No one wants to be bombarded by unwanted telemarketing calls,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Dish Network chose to ignore the rules, repeatedly violating state and federal telemarketing laws over many years. Today’s decision affirms our judgment against Dish Network, holding it accountable for illegally calling Californians and invading our residents’ privacy with irresponsible robocalls.”
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois first entered the $280 million judgment against Dish Network in 2017, after a five-week bench trial. The District Court also ordered robust injunctive relief requiring Dish Network to reform its telemarketing practices. The federal government, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio joined California as co-plaintiffs in this action.
A copy of the decision is available here.