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Gragg v. Orange Cab Co., Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

February 7, 2014

TORREY GRAGG, on his own behalf and on behalf of similarly situated persons, Plaintiff,
v.
ORANGE CAB COMPANY, INC., a Washington corporation; and RIDECHARGE, INC., a Delaware corporation d/b/a TAXI MAGIC, Defendants

Order Filed: February 7, 2014

For Torrey Gragg, on his own behalf and on behalf of similarly situated persons, Plaintiff: Albert H. Kirby, Kirby Law Group, SEATTLE, WA; Donald W Heyrich, HEYRICH KALISH MCGUIGAN PLLC, SEATTLE, WA.

For Orange Cab Company Inc, a Washington corporation, Ridecharge Inc, a Delaware corporation doing business as Taxi Magic, Defendants: Kenneth E Payson, Ryan C Gist, DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE (SEA), SEATTLE, WA.

OPINION

Page 1190

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Robert S. Lasnik, United States District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the Court on " Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment" (Dkt. #69) pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Plaintiff, who represents himself and similarly situated persons, received a text message from defendants which he alleges violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. § 227, and the Washington Commercial Electronic Mail Act (CEMA).[1] RCW § 19.190.010-110. Defendants assert that summary judgment is appropriate as they did not utilize an " automatic telephone dialing system" (ATDS) when sending the text message--one of the required elements of a TCPA claim. See Meyer v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, 707 F.3d 1036, 1043 (9th Cir. 2012).

The Court has reviewed the parties' submissions. For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS defendants' motion for partial summary judgment on plaintiff's TCPA claim.

Page 1191

II. Discussion

A. Background

Defendant Orange Cab Company, Inc. (Orange Cab) utilizes TaxiMagic, a Ridecharge, Inc. product, as a means of remaining competitive in a technologically advancing industry. Motion (Dkt. #69) at 7. TaxiMagic is a computer program that links together Orange Cab's dispatch terminals, the cab drivers' Mobile Data Terminals, and an SMS modem in order to send text message dispatch notifications to Orange Cab customers. DePasquale Declaration (Dkt. #71) at 2. Following dispatch, TaxiMagic transmits a text message notification to the customer which states the cab number and time the dispatcher's request was accepted by the driver. Motion (Dkt. #69) at 7. The notification may also include the driver's name, the distance from the cab dispatch location to the customer, and an invitation to download the TaxiMagic smartphone " app." [2] Id.

Orange Cab uses the TaxiMagic program on a computer system that generates a text message incorporating customer-specific data and then transmits a notification to the provided or procured telephone number. Id. at 11. The Orange Cab dispatcher who answers the phone obtains the customer's name and telephone number, along with the requested pickup and dropoff locations. Id. at 10. The customer's number may also be captured using Caller ID. Heyrich Declaration (Dkt. #84) Ex. E 134:10-13. The dispatcher then manually inputs this information into the dispatch terminal. Motion (Dkt. #69) at 10. When the dispatcher presses " enter," the information is relayed both to the TaxiMagic program and the driver closest to the customer's requested pickup location. Id. By pressing " accept" on his or her Mobile Data Terminal, the driver communicates his or her acceptance to TaxiMagic. Id. at 11. The program then composes the notification ...


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