Telemarketing Case Against Fisher Investments Dismissed
The plaintiff in a proposed class action challenging telemarketing practices at billionaire Ken Fisher’s registered investment advisory firm has dropped his claim against the $188 billion-AUM Camas, Washington-based RIA.
Bryant had claimed in an April-filed complaint that Fisher Investments violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by placing solicitation calls to individuals who listed their numbers on the Federal Trade Commission’s do-not-call registry but in June filed an amended complaint dropping an original claim that the firm had used illegal automated dialing systems in doing so.
Bryant’s attorneys, Kira M. Rubel in Gig Harbor, Washington, and Ignacio J. Hiraldo in Miami, Florida, did not respond to a request for comment on the outcome.
A spokesman for Fisher Investments, which had denied Bryant’s original and amended claims, calling them “frivolous,” said he had nothing to add beyond the firm’s previous comments.
Bryant had claimed that the firm had called him around 15 times without his consent, beginning in the fall of 2020, despite being registered with the FTC’s do-not-call list since 2009 and repeatedly asking the firm not to contact him again.
Fisher Investments had argued in its response to the initial complaint that Bryant could not assert TCPA claims against the firm to the extent he or other proposed class members “voluntarily” provided phone numbers for the purpose of receiving calls like the ones referenced in his complaint.
In his amended complaint, however, Bryant said he “never had any type of business relationship” and did not inquire about any of Fisher Investments’ goods or services or make any purchases from the firm. He also said the firm “failed to honor or abide by” his repeated opt-out requests, which he claimed was indicative that the firm did not maintain internal do-not-call lists or enforce any procedures for using them.
“Fisher denies that it made any ‘unsolicited communications’ to Plaintiff,” the firm said in its answer to the amended complaint.
Bryant had sought injunctive relief to halt the firm’s conduct, which he claimed has “resulted in the invasion of privacy, harassment, aggravation, and disruption of the daily life of thousands of individuals.” He and the other class members would each have been entitled to $500 in damages for each negligent violation of the TCPA and up to $1,500 for each do-not-call violation due to the firm’s knowing or willful conduct, according to the lawsuit.
Fisher’s RIA has faced other complaints over its sales tactics. The FTC had fielded at least 125 grievances from individuals about Fisher Investments’ cold-calling since 2016, although the complaints did not result in any regulatory action, according to a 2019 report.